Green Mountain State looks to Freight Rail for Roadway Damage Relief

Vermont’s short line and regional railroads provide vital connections to the larger North American freight rail network, linking the Green Mountain State to markets nationwide. To maximize these connections, track and bridges must be modernized to carry heavier railcars, which the state has said will play an important role in reducing truck traffic and highway wear and tear.

Eight freight railroads operate 582 miles of track and employ 177 in the Green Mountain State.* It would have taken approximately 382,000 additional truckloads to move the 6.9 million tons of freight that moved by rail in Vermont in 2019. Moving freight by rail prevented 122,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking 24,000 cars off the road or planting 1.85 million trees. Glad and stone comprise the majority of shipments beginning in Vermont. Petroleum products and nonmetallic minerals are the largest rail imports to the state.

*2019 data

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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.