Freight Rail Links Multifaceted North Carolina Economy to Global Marketplace
Freight rail connects the Tar Heel State’s ports, power plants, farms, mines and manufacturers to markets across the nation and worldwide. Continuous investment and innovation from railroads will take center stage as North Carolina carves out its place in an ever more integrated global supply chain.
North Carolina's 23 freight railroads operate over 2,847 miles of track and employ 1,966 in the Tar Heel State.* It would have taken approximately 4.6 million additional truckloads to move the 82.7 million tons of freight that moved by rail in North Carolina in 2019. Moving freight by rail prevented 3.23 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking 633,000 cars off the road or planting 48.9 million trees. Intermodal and chemicals comprise the majority of freight rail shipments beginning in North Carolina. Coal and farm products are the largest rail import to the state.