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 3,165 miles of track and employ 2,561 in the Yellowhammer State.* It would have taken approximately 1.8 million additional truckloads to move the 32.6 million tons of freight that moved by rail in Alabama in 2021. 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.

*2021 data

Rail at Work


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Featured Rail Supply Companies


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The Greenbrier Companies
Ferrovia, LLC
TTX Company
Stella-Jones Inc.
RJ Corman Railroad Group
Progress Rail Services
L.B. Foster Company
Amsted Rail


44 percent

in rail rates on average from 1981 to today.

That means the average rail customer today can ship significantly more freight for about the same price they paid 40 years ago. 

State Director

Christy Sammon

Christy Sammon

State Director

Christy Sammon joined GoRail in May 2015. She has 10 years of experience in the governmental relations field.