Volunteer State Vies for Top Spot as “America’s Distribution Center”

With multiple state-of-the-art intermodal yards and a solid grounding in the “four R’s” of rail, road, river and runway, Memphis is challenging Chicago as the nation’s principal rail hub. Freight rail in Tennessee doesn’t end in Memphis, however. The Volunteer State’s automotive industry, other manufacturers and communities also look to the state’s solid rail network to connect to national and global markets.

Tennessee's 28 freight railroads operate over 2,604 miles of track and employ 3,305 in the Volunteer State.* It would have taken approximately 11.5 million additional truckloads to move the 206.5 million tons of freight that moved by rail in Tennessee in 2019. Moving freight by rail prevented 2.66 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking 522,000 cars off the road or planting 40.3 million trees. Intermodal traffic make comprises the majority of rail shipments beginning and ending in the state.

*2019 data

Rail at Work

Tennessee

See All

Featured Rail Advocates

Tennessee
Jimmy Matlock
Jimmy Matlock
Former Tennessee State Representative
Bradley Jackson
Bradley Jackson
Interim President, Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Margaret Mahery
Margaret Mahery
Executive Director, Tennessee Municipal League

Featured Rail Supply Companies

Tennessee

See All
Professional Transportation, Inc.
NRCMA
HDR
Wabtec Corporation
TTX Company
Stella-Jones Inc.
RJ Corman Railroad Group
Koppers Inc.
Hulcher Services Inc.

icon_railfreight

44 percent
decrease

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

Tennessee
Michael Gaynor

Michael Gaynor

Assistant Vice President, Field Operations

Michael Gaynor manages the field staff and operations for GoRail.