Blue Grass Auto Industry Riding Rail to Success

Kentucky produced more than 1.3 million motor vehicles in 2016, with the Bluegrass State ranking first in the nation on a per capita basis in light vehicle production. Freight railroads play a key role in this success, carrying steel and other inputs to manufacturers and finished autos and auto parts out of Kentucky for distribution.

Kentucky’s 12 freight railroads operate over 2,624 miles of track and employ 3,208 in the Bluegrass State.* It would have taken approximately 12.6 million additional truckloads to move the 227.0 million tons of freight that moved by rail in Kentucky in 2017. Coal makes up the majority of freight rail shipments beginning and ending in the commonwealth.

*2017 data

Rail at Work


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Featured Rail Advocates

J.D. Chaney
J.D. Chaney
Deputy Executive Director, Kentucky League of Cities

Featured Rail Supply Companies


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Railway Supply Institute
ITS ConGlobal
IAT International, Inc.
The Okonite Company
TTX Company
Stella-Jones Inc.
RJ Corman Railroad Group
RailWorks Corporation
Progress Rail Services
Parsec, Inc.
L.B. Foster Company
Koppers Inc.


43 percent

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. 

State Director

Michael Gaynor

Michael Gaynor

Assistant Vice President, Field Operations

Michael Gaynor manages the field staff and operations for GoRail.