Freight Rail Drives Centennial State Economy

Railroads and Colorado grew up together – literally – as towns, cities and businesses sprouted and thrived along the first railroads. Today, the rail system that was so instrumental in Colorado’s early development has evolved as a prime economic driver in the movement of freight to, from and through the state.

Colorado's 14 freight railroads operate over 2,636 miles of track and employ 2,259 in the Centennial State.* It would have taken approximately 7.7 million additional truckloads to move the 138.9 million tons of freight that moved by rail in Colorado in 2019. Moving freight by rail prevented 2.47 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking 483,000 cars off the road or planting 37.4 million trees. Coal and glass and stone comprises the majority of freight rail shipments beginning in Colorado and intermodal is the largest import to the state.

*2019 data

Rail at Work

Colorado

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Featured Rail Advocates

Colorado
Steve Moreno
Steve Moreno
Commissioner At-Large, Weld County
Andres Pico
Andres Pico
State Representative, Colorado House of Representatives
Patrick Sherry, Ph.D.
Patrick Sherry, Ph.D.
Executive Director, National Center for Intermodal Transportation Research, University of Denver

Featured Rail Supply Companies

Colorado

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The Greenbrier Companies
ZA Construction
SEMA Construction
NRCMA
Wabtec Corporation
TTX Company
Progress Rail Services
L.B. Foster Company
Koppers Inc.
Hulcher Services Inc.
EVRAZ North America
Ames Construction

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44 percent
decrease

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

Colorado
Nate Kaplan

Nate Kaplan

State Director

Nate Kaplan has been an active player on the political scene from coast to coast, with a background in local, state and federal elections.