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 26 freight railroads operate over 3,227 miles of track and employ 2,953 in the Yellowhammer State.* It would have taken approximately 8.8 million additional truckloads to move the 158.3 million tons of freight that moved by rail in Alabama in 2019. Moving freight by rail prevented 3.57 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking 699,000 cars off the road or planting 54 million trees. Coal, primary metal products and chemicals comprise the majority of freight rail shipments beginning in Alabama. Coal is the largest rail import to the state.