Railroads are Pulling Their Weight In the Buckeye State

Dating back to the 19th century, railroading in the Buckeye State was critical to economic development. In the north, rail provided a connection to the Great Lakes, and in the south, Cincinnati once served as the rail hub of the nation. A lot has changed since the early days of statehood, but freight rail remains an economic driver. Today, Ohio has the fourth largest rail infrastructure, the second highest number of intermodal terminals in the nation, and is home to one of the highest concentrations of rail supply companies.

Ohio's 41 freight railroads operate over 5,139 miles of track and employ 5,036 in the Buckeye State.* It would have taken approximately 2.9 million additional truckloads to move the 52.8 million tons of freight that moved by rail in Ohio in 2021. Moving freight by rail prevented 5.16 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking 1.01 million cars off the road or planting 78.1 million trees. Intermodal and nonmetallic minerals comprise the majority of freight rail shipments beginning in Ohio. Intermodal shipments and coal are the largest rail imports to the state.

*2021 data

Rail at Work


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Featured Rail Advocates

Martin Russell
Martin Russell
Deputy County Administrator, Warren County; Director, Warren County Economic Development; Executive Director, Warren County Port Authority
Jeff Zimmerman
Jeff Zimmerman
Vice President of Sales, Columbus Chamber

Featured Rail Supply Companies


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Parsec, Inc.
RMS Intermodal
API Global Solutions
Gregori Construction
Anderzack-Pitzen Construction, Inc.
Wabtec Corporation
TTX Company
RJ Corman Railroad Group
RailWorks Corporation
Polivka International
L.B. Foster Company
Hulcher Services Inc.
Amsted Rail


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. 

State Director

Michael Gaynor

Michael Gaynor

Assistant Vice President, Field Operations

Michael Gaynor manages the field staff and operations for GoRail.