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 25 freight railroads operate over 2,552 miles of track and employ 3,618 in the Volunteer State.* It would have taken approximately 11.5 million additional truckloads to move the 207.7 million tons of freight that moved by rail in Tennessee in 2017. Intermodal and transportation equipment make up the largest segments of rail shipments beginning in Tennessee. Intermodal and chemicals are the largest rail imports to the state.