Freight Rail Key to Economic Future in Great Lakes State
From the auto industry and other manufacturers to mining and agriculture, Michigan’s productive freight rail network provides key connections to keep the Great Lakes State economy moving forward. Accounting for about one-third of all U.S. exports, freight rail is a big reason Michigan is a top-10 exporter state.
Michigan's 29 freight railroads operate over 3,466 miles of track and employ 2,812 in the Great Lakes State.* It would have taken approximately 4.4 million additional truckloads to move the 79.4 million tons of freight that moved by rail in Michigan in 2019. Moving freight by rail prevented 6.97 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking 1.37 million cars off the road or planting 105.6 million trees. Motor vehicles and parts and intermodal shipments make up the majority of freight rail shipments beginning in Michigan. Intermodal and coal are the largest rail imports to the state.