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 3,086 miles of track and employ 3,959 in the Old Dominion.* It would have taken approximately 7.7 million additional truckloads to move the 138.1 million tons of freight that moved by rail in Virginia in 2019. 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.