The freight rail industry generates around $80 billion of annual revenue and operates on 140,000 miles of privately-owned track across the United States. Over 90% of the sector’s revenue is generated by seven Class I railroads (categorized by exceeding an annual revenue threshold); however, the network also includes over 600 regional and short line railroads that often serve as important interchange connections between the Class I railroads and the origin / destination of a shipment. The freight rail industry plays an important role in the North American economy with volumes spanning across a wide variety of commodity groups that include chemicals, coal, agriculture, metals, auto, energy and numerous consumer-related products. In addition, railroads are 3x – 4x more fuel efficient than truckload, resulting in a freight move that can lower greenhouse gas emissions by 75% (on average) while also reducing highway congestion.
From an equipment perspective, the transportation network includes approximately 1.6 million railcars, 30K locomotives, >300K domestic intermodal containers, 2.2 million heavy-duty commercial trucks and 3.4 million commercial trailers. There are a significant amount of companies involved in the process of manufacturing, maintaining and operating this equipment on a daily basis.