Old Dominion Seeks to Accommodate New Growth Through Freight Rail

As a major port state that also serves as a crossroads for the entire Mid-Atlantic region, Virginia is looking to freight rail to help handle massive increases in freight tonnage expected over the next 20 years. Greater use of freight rail will provide an economic boost to communities and businesses throughout the Commonwealth while also relieving pressure on the highway system by diverting freight from truck to rail, particularly along the I-81 corridor.

Virginia's 10 freight railroads operate over 3,050 miles of track and employ 2,738 in the Old Dominion.* It would have taken approximately 1.5 million additional truckloads to move the 26.9 million tons of freight that moved by rail in Virginia in 2021. Moving freight by rail prevented 3.33 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking 653,000 cars off the road or planting 50.5 million trees. Intermodal and coal comprise the majority of freight rail shipments beginning and ending in Virginia.

*2021 data

Rail at Work


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Featured Rail Advocates

John S. Edwards
John S. Edwards
Virginia State Senator

Featured Rail Supply Companies


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Genesis Rail Services, Inc.
Gregori Construction
Wabtec Corporation
TTX Company
Stella-Jones Inc.
Special Fleet Service, Inc.
RJ Corman Railroad Group
Loram Maintenance of Way, Inc.
L.B. Foster Company
Koppers Inc.
Amsted Rail
Cranemasters, Inc.


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

Christy Sammon

Christy Sammon

State Director

Christy Sammon joined GoRail in May 2015. She has 10 years of experience in the governmental relations field.