Illinois Anchors America’s Freight Rail Network

Illinois is literally at the center of the freight rail network, with nearly 50 freight railroads and North America’s busiest rail hub in Chicago. The commitment of the private sector, the city of Chicago and the state and federal governments to the CREATE program shows how important Illinois is to freight rail operations nationwide.

Illinois's 49 freight railroads operate over 7,151 miles of track and employ 12,006 in the Prairie State.* It would have taken approximately 26.8 million additional truckloads to move the 483.2 million tons of freight that moved by rail in Illinois in 2017. Intermodal shipments and coal make up the majority of freight rail shipments beginning and ending in Illinois.

*2017 data

Rail at Work


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Featured Rail Advocates

Marcus C. Evans, Jr.
Marcus C. Evans, Jr.
Illinois State Representative
Clayton Harris III
Clayton Harris III
Executive Director, Illinois International Port District

Featured Rail Supply Companies


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U.S. Intermodal Inc.
Railway Supply Institute
ITS ConGlobal
FreightCar America
Western-Cullen-Hayes, Inc.
Wabtec Corporation
TTX Company
RJ Corman Railroad Group
RailWorks Corporation
Progress Rail Services
Parsec, Inc.
New York Air Brake
L.B. Foster Company
Koppers Inc.
Hulcher Services Inc.
Holland LP
EVRAZ North America
BSM Technologies
Amsted Rail


43 percent

in rail rates, 1981-2014.

That means the average rail customer today can ship nearly twice as much freight for about the same price it paid more than 30 years ago. 

State Director

Emily Traiforos

Emily Traiforos

State Director

Emily Traiforos joined GoRail in March 2006 and oversees its operations in the Upper Midwest and Colorado.