America’s freight railroads spent more than $660 billion from 1980 to 2017 on capital expenditures and maintenance expenses related to locomotives, freight cars, tracks, bridges, tunnels and other infrastructure and equipment.
These investments ensure the safety of the vast rail network.
Looked at another way, railroads have invested more than 40 cents out of every revenue dollar right back into the safety and upkeep for a rail network that keeps our economy moving. What is more, the investment dollars are from railroads — not taxpayers.
In recent years, railroads have been spending more than ever before. The average U.S. manufacturer spends about 3% of revenue on capital expenditures. The comparable figure for U.S. freight railroads in recent years has been around 19%, or six times higher. The massive investment helps explain the industry’s stellar safety record.