Rail

Transporting freight by rail offers more origin and destination pairs than maritime transportation and increased efficiency in long haul moves compared to trucking.  A single unit train has the carrying capacity of 525 trucks and half that of a 15-barge tow.  Similarly, rail can move one ton of freight 413 miles per gallon of fuel compare to 155 for trucking and 576 for inland maritime. Rail is typically used for long-haul routes; the Association of American Railroads reports that in 2011 the average length of haul was 917.2 miles.  Figure 1 shows both rail-related industry and the Class 1 rail network.  Class 1 railroads are freight railroads with a 2011 operating revenue of $433.2 million or more.

Figure 1: Class I Railroads and Railroad Businesses

Source: Esri Business Analyst, 2011

The total employment for the freight transporting railroad industry is calculated from querying all line-haul and short-line railroads from ESRI’s Business Analyst data set.  The query was not able to completely remove passenger railways because of how the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is constructed.  The total employment reported in Table 1 is an overestimate of the total jobs and businesses that are directly attributable to the transportation of freight via railway.

Table 1: Railroad Businesses and Employment in the MAFC

State Railroad Employment Railroad Businesses Total State Employment Total Business Count
Iowa 1,493 143 1,607,190 136,378
Illinois 9,465 632 5,884,453 476,575
Indiana 4,665 244 2,938,335 222,320
Kansas 1,848 124 1,407,272 123,790
Kentucky 1,595 169 1,819,898 153,924
Michigan 4,173 346 4,305,125 371,368
Minnesota 2,763 218 2,888,004 221,993
Missouri 3,633 215 2,883,801 239,690
Ohio 6,560 442 5,634,785 413,878
Wisconsin 4,341 183 3,063,309 244,656
MAFC 40,536 2,716 32,432,172 2,604,572

Source: Esri Business Analyst, 2011

Print Friendly