Freight Rail Delivers Iowa Ethanol to National and World Markets

Consistently the nation’s leading corn producer, the Hawkeye State also leads the way on ethanol production at about 2 billion gallons per year. With only about 7 percent of ethanol consumed in state, railroads have a key role to play in shipping Iowa ethanol – and other agricultural and manufacturing products – to destinations across North America and for export internationally.

Iowa’s 15 freight railroads operate over 3,818 miles of track and employ 3,746 in the Hawkeye State.* It would have taken approximately 19.8 million additional truckloads to move the 357.2 million tons of freight that moved by rail in Iowa in 2014. Food products and chemicals make up the majority of freight rail shipments beginning in Iowa. Coal is the largest rail import to the state.

*2015 data

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Savage Services
RJ Corman Railroad Group
Hulcher Services Inc.
HDR, Inc.


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

Michael Gaynor

Michael Gaynor

Assistant Vice President, Field Operations

Michael Gaynor manages the field staff and operations for GoRail.