Illinois Anchors America’s Freight Rail Network
Illinois is literally at the center of the freight rail network, with nearly 50 freight railroads and North America’s busiest rail hub in Chicago. The commitment of the private sector, the city of Chicago and the state and federal governments to the CREATE program shows how important Illinois is to freight rail operations nationwide.
Illinois’s 49 freight railroads operate over 7,151 miles of track and employ 12,006 in the Prairie State.* It would have taken approximately 26.8 million additional truckloads to move the 483.2 million tons of freight that moved by rail in Illinois in 2017. Intermodal shipments and coal make up the majority of freight rail shipments beginning and ending in Illinois.
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in rail rates, 1981-2014.
That means the average rail customer today can ship nearly twice as much freight for about the same price it paid more than 30 years ago.
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