Freight Rail a Key Part of Alabama’s Economic Future
With Alabama producing a quarter of all autos manufactured in the South and the Port of Mobile preparing to handle more traffic flowing through an expanded Panama Canal, railroads are more vital than ever to the state’s economic future. Freight rail reaches every corner of Alabama and is playing a key role in the development of a growing manufacturing sector while also supporting agriculture and forestry in the state.
Alabama’s 27 freight railroads operate over 3,272 miles of track and employ 3,151 in the Heart of Dixie.* It would have taken approximately 8.8 million additional truckloads to move the 159.1 million tons of freight that moved by rail in Alabama in 2017. Chemicals, primary metal products and nonmetallic minerals comprise the majority of freight rail shipments beginning in Alabama. Coal is the largest rail import to the state.