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.