Freight rail is a crucial part of an integrated network of trains, trucks and barges that ships around 54 tons of goods per American every year. Nearly everything you own or interact with once rode the rails, from the lumber in your house to the food on your table to the car in your driveway and the tablet in your hands.
You may also be one of the millions of people who rely on passenger trains to get to work so they can afford to buy those goods. Many commuters travel on freight rail lines. Outside the Northeast Corridor, most Amtrak trains operate on tracks owned by freight railroads, as do most commuter railroads.
U.S. railroads’ safe, efficient and environmentally friendly service makes it the best in the world. In fact, without an efficient rail network, U.S. industries would incur higher costs, and those costs would be passed to you as higher prices on the goods you use every day.
And its railroads — not taxpayers — that pay to maintain and modernize the nearly 140,000-mile rail network.