Illinois Anchors America’s Freight Rail Network

Illinois is literally at the center of the freight rail network, with 40 freight railroads and North America’s busiest rail hub in Chicago. The commitment of the private sector, the city of Chicago and the state and federal governments to the CREATE program shows how important Illinois is to freight rail operations nationwide.

Illinois’s 46 freight railroads operate over 7,119 miles of track and employ 13,152 in the Prairie State.* It would have taken approximately 29.5 million additional truckloads to move the 531.5 million tons of freight that moved by rail in Illinois in 2014. Intermodal shipments and farm products make up the majority of freight rail shipments beginning in Illinois. Intermodal shipments and coal are the state’s largest rail imports.

*2015 data

Rail at Work


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Featured Rail Advocates

Jerry Peck
Jerry Peck
Associate Director of Government Affairs & Membership, Illinois Manufacturers’ Association
Ben Brockschmidt
Ben Brockschmidt
Executive Director, Infrastructure Council; Vice President of Policy, Illinois Chamber of Commerce
Elaine Nekritz
Elaine Nekritz
Illinois State Representative

Featured Rail Supply Companies


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Western-Cullen-Hayes, Inc.
Orr Safety
Industry-Railway Suppliers, Inc.
Greenbrier Companies
Wells Fargo Rail
Wabtec Corporation
TTX Company
Savage Services
RJ Corman Railroad Group
RailWorks Corporation
Progress Rail Services
Professional Transportation, Inc.
Parsec, Inc.
New York Air Brake
L.B. Foster Company
Koppers Inc.
Hulcher Services Inc.
Holland LP
HDR, Inc.
FreightCar America
EVRAZ North America
BSM Technologies
Amsted Rail


43 percent

in rail rates, 1981-2014.

That means the average rail customer today can ship nearly twice as much freight for about the same price it paid more than 30 years ago. 

State Director

Larry Lloyd

Larry Lloyd

State Director

Larry Lloyd has been with GoRail for over five years. He is a member of the Western Railway Club as well as the Midwest Association of Rail Shippers.