Private Sector Rail Investments Drive Economic Development in North Star State
Responsible for over a quarter million Minnesota jobs and $40 billion of the state’s gross domestic product, freight rail plays a huge role in Minnesota’s economic success. Railroads’ support for Minnesota agriculture, industry, forestry, mining and more adds an estimated $2,000 to the average Minnesotan’s income – or more than $5,000 per household.
Minnesota's 20 freight railroads operate over 4,277 miles of track and employ 4,281 in the North Star State.* It would have taken approximately 15.1 million additional truckloads to move the 271.5 million tons of freight that moved by rail in Minnesota in 2019. Moving freight by rail prevented 9.05 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking 1.77 million cars off the road or planting 137.1million trees. Metallic ores comprise the majority of freight rail shipments beginning in Minnesota. Metallic ores and coal are the state's largest rail imports.