The Evolution of the U.S. Railroad Industry: Infographic

The railroad industry in the U.S. is a multi-billion industry and the backbone of the economy. Despite the inter-state highway system and the air fright sector the importance of the railroad for the nation’s economy cannot be understated. Below are some of the fascinating facts of the railroad industry:

  • Unlike many other countries the freight railroad network in the US is privately-owned
  • The network covers over 140,000 miles
  • The majority of the goods moved are transported by 7 Class I railroad companies (including 2 Canadian firms). These firms can be found here
  • US railroads are the most efficient and safest in the world
  • Railroad employees are some of the highest paid workers in the country. According to AAR, in 2019, the average U.S. Class I freight rail employee earned wages of $ 94,400 and fringe benefits of $ 38,500, for total compensation of $ 132,900
  • Railroads supported about 11 million jobs and directly employ about 140,000 workers
  • The industry generated $220 billion in economic output in 2019 and $26 billion in tax revenues

Sources: AAR, FRA

The following infographic shows the evolution of the railroad industry from the 1880s to the 1990s:

Click to enlarge

Source: Proportion Air

Related companies – Class I Railroads :

  1. BNSF Railway Co. (Private)
  2. Canadian National Railway Co (CNI)
  3. Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd(CP)
  4. CSX Corp (CSX)
  5. Kansas City Southern (KSU)
  6. Union Pacific(UNP)
  7. Norfolk Southern Corp(NSC)

Disclosure: Long CNI, CSX, UNP and NSC

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