Railroads have helped power America since its earliest days.
In fact, the first big haul for America’s first major railroad was transporting coal from western Maryland and Virginia to Baltimore.
In the years since, the role of railroads in the energy industry has continued to grow. As energy sources and consumption patterns have changed, the freight rail industry has worked diligently to adjust to customer needs and ensure that the commodities that power America continue to move safely and efficiently. The push for U.S. energy independence from foreign sources of fossil fuel relies extensively on freight rail as an important transportation partner. Railroads are an essential contributor to the success of the crude oil industry.
Current Stats: In 2017, U.S. Class I railroads moved approximately 5.3 million carloads of energy products (17% of total carloads) carrying 591 million tons (35% of total tons) and earning gross revenue of $14.2 billion (20% of total revenue).
Economic Impact: In 2014, the transportation of coal, wind turbines, and power distribution equipment by Class I railroads supported nearly 144,000 jobs, over $10.5 billion in wages, and approximately $34.6 billion in economic output.