Freight Rail Continues to Bring Growth in New Mexico
Railroads have a played a substantial role in the Land of Enchantment economy since the first tracks arrived in the New Mexico Territory in 1879. In recent years, expansion and maintenance of the rail network has provided a steady stream of capital investment in New Mexico and helped the state substantially increase its exports across the southern border.
New Mexico's six freight railroads operate over 1,873 miles of track and employ 1,620 in the Land of Enchantment.* It would have taken approximately 8.2 million additional truckloads to move the 147 million tons of freight that moved by rail in New Mexico in 2019. Moving freight by rail prevented 438,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking 86,000 cars off the road or planting 6.64 million trees. Coal and crude oil make up the majority of freight rail shipments beginning in New Mexico. Intermodal shipments are the largest rail imports to the state.