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.

*2015 data

Rail at Work


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Featured Rail Advocates

Gene Barr
Gene Barr
President & CEO, Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry
Richard Alloway
Richard Alloway
Pennsylvania State Senator

Featured Rail Supply Companies


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Orr Safety
Greenbrier Companies
Wabtec Corporation
TTX Company
Stella-Jones Inc.
Standard Steel, LLC
Savage Services
RJ Corman Railroad Group
Progress Rail Services
Professional Transportation, Inc.
L.B. Foster Company
Koppers Inc.
IAT International
Hulcher Services Inc.
HDR, Inc.
GE Transportation
FreightCar America
ArcelorMittal Steelton
Ansaldo STS USA


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

Emily Traiforos

Emily Traiforos

State Director

Emily Traiforos joined GoRail in March 2006 and oversees its operations in the Northeast and Colorado.