Pennsylvania: Keystone of American Freight Rail
From a small beginning two centuries ago with a quarry railway in Delaware County, freight rail became the engine that made Pennsylvania an industrial giant in the 19th and 20th centuries. Today’s freight railroads continue fueling economic growth, drawing new businesses and manufacturing to Pennsylvania with their seamless connections to national and global markets.
Pennsylvania’s 59 freight railroads operate over 5,165 miles of track and employ 7,056 in the Keystone State.* It would have taken approximately 12.2 million additional truckloads to move the 219.9 million tons of freight that moved by rail in Pennsylvania in 2014. Intermodal shipments and coal make up the majority of freight rail shipments beginning in Pennsylvania. Intermodal shipments and petroleum are the commonwealth’s largest rail imports.
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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.
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