Freight Rail Connected to the Nation's Capital

Presidents as far back as Andrew Jackson have traveled and campaigned by rail. President Obama retraced the historical train trip taken by President Lincoln for his inauguration. While passenger service continues to thrive in the District of Columbia, freight tracks running through the city are vital to the East Coast rail network. DC's Virginia Avenue Tunnel enables trains to move freight between key ports, manufacturing centers and consumer markets.

D.C.'s t2o freight railroads operate over 17 miles of track and employ 11 in the Nation's Capital.* It would have taken approximately 1.4 million additional truckloads to move the 25.6 million tons of freight that moved by rail in D.C. in 2019. Moving freight by rail prevented 15,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking 3,000 cars off the road or planting 234,000 trees.

*2019 data

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icon_railfreight3-4x
more fuel efficient
than trucks.


Moving freight by rail instead of trucks reduces greenhouse gas emissions an average of 75 percent.