Rapid Growth Means Increased Demand for Freight Rail in Grand Canyon State
Long a “bridge state” with rail and highway freight passing through between West Coast ports and markets to the east, Arizona is a rapidly growing destination in itself, with the combined Phoenix and Tucson markets of 2030 on pace to equal or exceed the current scale of greater Los Angeles. The state is looking to railroads to accommodate massive increases in freight transportation demand, and all Arizonans stand to benefit from railroads’ ability to deliver goods safely and efficiently while also saving on fuel and reducing carbon emissions.
Arizona's 11 freight railroads operate over 1,759 miles of track and employ 2,837 in the Grand Canyon State.* It would have taken approximately 7.3 million additional truckloads to move the 131.6 million tons of freight that moved by rail in Arizona in 2019. Moving freight by rail prevented 1.95 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking 383,000 cars off the road or planting 29.6 million trees. Intermodal and metallic ores comprise the majority of freight rail shipments beginning in Arizona. Coal is the largest rail import to the state.