Freight Rail Connected to the Nation's Capital

Presidents as far back as Andrew Jackson have traveled and campaigned by rail. President Obama retraced the historical train trip taken by President Lincoln for his inauguration. While passenger service continues to thrive in the District of Columbia, freight tracks running through the city are vital to the East Coast rail network. DC's Virginia Avenue Tunnel enables trains to move freight between key ports, manufacturing centers and consumer markets.

D.C.'s t2o freight railroads operate over 17 miles of track and employ 11 in the Nation's Capital.* It would have taken approximately 1.4 million additional truckloads to move the 25.6 million tons of freight that moved by rail in D.C. in 2019. Moving freight by rail prevented 15,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking 3,000 cars off the road or planting 234,000 trees.

*2019 data

Wyoming Energy Powers the Nation Via Freight Rail

As the number one source of coal in the United States and the nation’s fifth-largest natural gas producer, Wyoming relies on railroads to bring in the equipment to harvest energy resources and to export this Cowboy State bounty to the nation and the world. Railroads have churned millions of dollars of private capital into new track, equipment and technology to facilitate energy production and keep Wyoming’s rail network strong, productive and safe.

Wyoming's six freight railroads operate over 1,877 miles of track and employ 2,026 in the Equality State.* It would have taken approximately 23.1 million additional truckloads to move the 416.4 million tons of freight that moved by rail in Wyoming in 2019. Moving freight by rail prevented 26 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking 5.1 million cars off the road or planting 394.2 million trees. Coal makes up the majority of freight rail shipments beginning and ending in the state.

*2019 data

Freight Rail Keeps Wisconsin Economy on Track

If manufacturing and agriculture are the heart of the Badger State’s vibrant economy, then railways are the circulatory system that keeps the economy healthy and growing. Freight rail is the vital link supplying Wisconsin farms, forestry operations and factories with the inputs they need to thrive while connecting them to the global marketplace.

Wisconsin's nine freight railroads operate over 3,254 miles of track and employ 3,163 in the Badger State.* It would have taken approximately 10.8 million additional truckloads to move the 194 million tons of freight that moved by rail in Wisconsin in 2019. Moving freight by rail prevented 4.28 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking 839,000 cars off the road or planting 64.8 million trees. Nonmetallic minerals make up the majority of freight rail shipments beginning in Wisconsin. Coal is the largest rail import to the state.

*2019 data

Mountaineer State a Vital Link in North American Rail Network

Although domestic coal consumption has waned, the Mountaineer State remains a “railroad state.” As intermodal shipments and traffic in other energy products pick up steam, West Virginia is looking to a more diversified freight mix to revive rail traffic and boost the economy.

West Virginia's 11 freight railroads operate over 2,141 miles of track and employ 1,838 in the Mountain State.* It would have taken approximately 9.2 million additional truckloads to move the 166.4 million tons of freight that moved by rail in West Virginia in 2019. Moving freight by rail prevented 3.75 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking 735,000 cars off the road or planting 56.8 million trees. Coal makes up the majority of freight rail shipments beginning and ending in West Virginia.

*2019 data

Freight Rail Helps Keep Washington Evergreen and Ever Growing

More than twice as export-intensive as the average U.S. state, Washington and its manufacturers, farms and communities rely on freight rail to move commodities and products from inland locations to seaports. By one conservative estimate, well over 300,000 jobs — or 10 percent of total Evergreen State employment — exist because of the economic dynamism enabled by freight rail.

Washington's 30 freight railroads operate over 2,891 miles of track and employ 4,435 in the Evergreen State.* It would have taken approximately 7.4 million additional truckloads to move the 133.4 million tons of freight that moved by rail in Washington in 2019. Moving freight by rail prevented 5.92 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking 1.16 million cars off the road or planting 89.7 million trees. Intermodal, mostly originating at the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma, make up the largest part of freight rail shipments beginning in Washington. Intermodal and farm products are the largest rail imports to the state.

*2019 data

Green Mountain State looks to Freight Rail for Roadway Damage Relief

Vermont’s short line and regional railroads provide vital connections to the larger North American freight rail network, linking the Green Mountain State to markets nationwide. To maximize these connections, track and bridges must be modernized to carry heavier railcars, which the state has said will play an important role in reducing truck traffic and highway wear and tear.

Eight freight railroads operate 582 miles of track and employ 177 in the Green Mountain State.* It would have taken approximately 382,000 additional truckloads to move the 6.9 million tons of freight that moved by rail in Vermont in 2019. Moving freight by rail prevented 122,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking 24,000 cars off the road or planting 1.85 million trees. Glad and stone comprise the majority of shipments beginning in Vermont. Petroleum products and nonmetallic minerals are the largest rail imports to the state.

*2019 data

Present at the Creation, Beehive State Still Vital Link in Transcontinental Rail Network

Those present in May of 1869 when the “golden spike” was driven at Promontory Summit to commemorate the completion of the first transcontinental railroad could little have imagined what railroads would become in the 21st century. Yesterday’s steam locomotives have been replaced with double-stack intermodal trains, and Utah is now a major mid-continent staging area for goods destined to reach consumers all across America.

Utah's eight freight railroads operate over 1,385 miles of track and employ 1,371 in the Beehive State.* It would have taken approximately 3.1 million additional truckloads to move the 55.8 million tons of freight that moved by rail in Utah in 2019. Moving freight by rail prevented 1.46 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking 286,000 cars off the road or planting 22.1 million trees. Intermodal and coal comprise the majority of freight rail shipments beginning and ending in Utah.

*2019 data

Lone Star State Leads Nation in Rail Innovation

From energy production and manufacturing, to distribution centers and the Gulf Coast ports, freight rail is an important driver of Texas’s economic future. The Lone Star State is a national leader in freight rail innovation, with one of the nation’s biggest railroads, BNSF Railway, headquartered in Fort Worth, where Wabtec also builds new high-tech, fuel-efficient locomotives.

Texas's 54 freight railroads operate over 10,460 miles of track and employ 17,223 in the Lone Star State.* It would have taken approximately 23.1 million additional truckloads to move the 416 million tons of freight that moved by rail in Texas in 2019. Moving freight by rail prevented 25.2 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking 4.95 million cars off the road or planting 382.4 million trees. Intermodal and chemicals make up the majority of freight rail shipments beginning in Texas. Intermodal and nonmetallic minerals are the largest rail imports to the state.

*2019 data

Volunteer State Vies for Top Spot as “America’s Distribution Center”

With multiple state-of-the-art intermodal yards and a solid grounding in the “four R’s” of rail, road, river and runway, Memphis is challenging Chicago as the nation’s principal rail hub. Freight rail in Tennessee doesn’t end in Memphis, however. The Volunteer State’s automotive industry, other manufacturers and communities also look to the state’s solid rail network to connect to national and global markets.

Tennessee's 28 freight railroads operate over 2,604 miles of track and employ 3,305 in the Volunteer State.* It would have taken approximately 11.5 million additional truckloads to move the 206.5 million tons of freight that moved by rail in Tennessee in 2019. Moving freight by rail prevented 2.66 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking 522,000 cars off the road or planting 40.3 million trees. Intermodal traffic make comprises the majority of rail shipments beginning and ending in the state.

*2019 data

Freight Rail a Gateway to U.S. and Global Markets for Mount Rushmore State

For South Dakota grain, ethanol and other agricultural producers, freight rail provides the primary means of reaching export markets around the nation and across the globe. With demand for rail transportation only expected to increase, record railroad investments in track, equipment and technology are good news for South Dakota agriculture.

South Dakota's 10 freight railroads operate over 1,822 miles of track and employ 776 in the Mount Rushmore State.* It would have taken approximately 6.3 million additional truckloads to move the 113.5 million tons of freight that moved by rail in South Dakota in 2019. Moving freight by rail prevented 1.46 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking 287,000 cars off the road or planting 22.2 million trees. Farm products make up the majority of freight rail shipments beginning in South Dakota.

*2019 data