Pine Tree State Prioritizes Rail Investment

Paper production remains an important part of Maine’s economy and the Pine Tree State has made a priority of improving the capacity of the rail system to link paper producers to national and international markets. Utilizing public private partnerships, Maine continues to work to expand rail service to boost local manufacturing and provide a viable alternative to over-the-road trucking.

Maine's six freight railroads operate over 1,116 miles of track and employ 466 in the Pine Tree State.* It would have taken approximately 102,000 additional truckloads to move the 1.8 million tons of freight that moved by rail in Maine in 2021. Moving freight by rail prevented 303,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking 59,000 cars off the road or planting 4.59 million trees. Pulp and paper make up the majority of freight rail shipments beginning in Maine. Petroleum products and glass and stone are the largest rail imports to the state.

*2021 data

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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.