Freight Rail Helps Keep Washington Evergreen and Ever Growing

More than twice as export-intensive as the average U.S. state, Washington and its manufacturers, farms and communities rely on freight rail to move commodities and products from inland locations to seaports. By one conservative estimate, well over 300,000 jobs — or 10 percent of total Evergreen State employment — exist because of the economic dynamism enabled by freight rail.

Washington's 30 freight railroads operate over 2,867 miles of track and employ 3,619 in the Evergreen State.* It would have taken approximately 1.1 million additional truckloads to move the 20.2 million tons of freight that moved by rail in Washington in 2021. Moving freight by rail prevented 5.92 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking 1.16 million cars off the road or planting 89.7 million trees. Intermodal, mostly originating at the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma, make up the largest part of freight rail shipments beginning in Washington. Intermodal and farm products are the largest rail imports to the state.

*2021 data

Rail at Work


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Featured Rail Supply Companies


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RMS Intermodal
The Greenbrier Companies
Direct Chassis Link
TTX Company
Stella-Jones Inc.
RailWorks Corporation
L.B. Foster Company
Hulcher Services Inc.
Amsted Rail


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

Nate Kaplan

Nate Kaplan

State Director

Nate Kaplan has been an active player on the political scene from coast to coast, with a background in local, state and federal elections.