Freight Rail a Gateway to U.S. and Global Markets for Mount Rushmore State

For South Dakota grain, ethanol and other agricultural producers, freight rail provides the primary means of reaching export markets around the nation and across the globe. With demand for rail transportation only expected to increase, record railroad investments in track, equipment and technology are good news for South Dakota agriculture.

South Dakota’s 10 freight railroads operate over 2,029 miles of track and employ 741 in the Mount Rushmore State.* It would have taken approximately 6.6 million additional truckloads to move the 119.4 million tons of freight that moved by rail in South Dakota in 2017. Corn and soybeans make up the majority of freight rail shipments beginning in South Dakota.

*2017 data

Rail at Work

South Dakota

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Featured Rail Advocates

South Dakota
Mark Mickelson
Mark Mickelson
South Dakota State Representative, Speaker of the House
Benjamin Snow
Benjamin Snow
President, Rapid City Economic Development Partnership

Featured Rail Supply Companies

South Dakota

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Railway Supply Institute
NRCMA
HDR

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43 percent
decrease

in rail rates, 1981-2014.


That means the average rail customer today can ship nearly twice as much freight for about the same price it paid more than 30 years ago. 

State Director

South Dakota
Emily Traiforos

Emily Traiforos

State Director

Emily Traiforos joined GoRail in March 2006 and oversees its operations in the Upper Midwest and Colorado.