Freight Rail a Key to California’s Green Economy
Freight rail provides the seamless connections that keep California’s economy on track, from its 11 ports and Mexican border trade, to Inland Empire manufacturers and distribution centers, to its many farms and wineries. Rail is also leading the way to a greener future with its scale and efficiency: a single train can move a ton of freight nearly 500 miles on a single gallon of fuel and carry the load of several hundred trucks.
California's 27 freight railroads operate over 4,971 miles of track and employ 8,270 in The Golden State.* It would have taken approximately 9.3 million additional truckloads to move the 167.4 million tons of freight that moved by rail in California in 2019. Moving freight by rail prevented 16.6 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking 3.25 million cars off the road or planting 251.5 million trees. Intermodal shipments, mostly arriving through California's world-class ports, make up the majority of freight rail shipments beginning in California. Intermodal shipments and farm products are the largest rail imports to the state.