Empire State’s Economy Rides on Freight Rail
In the 19th century, it was railroads that united small towns and big cities, farms and factories, truly making New York the Empire State. From Long Island to Western New York and the North Country – and everywhere in between – freight rail still supports businesses and drives innovation and economic opportunity for New Yorkers.
New York's 41 freight railroads operate over 3,687 miles of track and employ 2,645 in the Empire State.* It would have taken approximately 3.7 million additional truckloads to move the 66.7 million tons of freight that moved by rail in New York in 2019. Moving freight by rail prevented 2.59 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking 509,000 cars off the road or planting 39.3 million trees. Intermodal and waste and scrap materials make up the majority of freight rail shipments beginning in New York. Intermodal shipments and chemicals are the state's largest rail imports.