Freight Rail Keeps Wisconsin Economy on Track

If manufacturing and agriculture are the heart of the Badger State’s vibrant economy, then railways are the circulatory system that keeps the economy healthy and growing. Freight rail is the vital link supplying Wisconsin farms, forestry operations and factories with the inputs they need to thrive while connecting them to the global marketplace.

Wisconsin's nine freight railroads operate over 3,254 miles of track and employ 3,163 in the Badger State.* It would have taken approximately 10.8 million additional truckloads to move the 194 million tons of freight that moved by rail in Wisconsin in 2019. Moving freight by rail prevented 4.28 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking 839,000 cars off the road or planting 64.8 million trees. Nonmetallic minerals make up the majority of freight rail shipments beginning in Wisconsin. Coal is the largest rail import to the state.

*2019 data

Rail at Work

Wisconsin

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Featured Rail Advocates

Wisconsin
Daniel J. Fedderly
Daniel J. Fedderly
Executive Director, Wisconsin County Highway Association
Jesse James
Jesse James
State Representative, Wisconsin State Assembly
John Casper
John Casper
President & CEO, Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce

Featured Rail Supply Companies

Wisconsin

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Professional Transportation, Inc.
NRCMA
HDR
Wabtec Corporation
Stella-Jones Inc.
RailWorks Corporation
Progress Rail Services
Koppers Inc.

icon_railfreight

44 percent
decrease

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

Wisconsin
Emily Traiforos

Emily Traiforos

State Director

Emily Traiforos joined GoRail in March 2006 and oversees its operations in the Upper Midwest and Colorado.