Freight Railroads Operating in the United States

Freight railroad transports are critical to the economic well-being and global competitiveness of the United States. They move 42 percent of our nation's freight (measured in ton-miles) - everything from lumber to vegetables, coal to orange juice, grain to automobiles, and chemicals to scrap iron - and connect businesses with each other across the country and with markets overseas. They also contribute billions of dollars each year to the economy through investments, wages, purchases, and taxes.

There were 554 common carrier freight railroads operating in the United States in 2002, classified into five groups.
Class I Railroads

* The Burlington Northern and Santa Fe (BNSD.
* CSX Transportation (CSX).
* Grand Trunk Corporation, which consists of the U.S. operations of Canadian National (CN), including the former Grand Trunk Western (GTW), Illinois Central (IC), and Wisconsin Central.
* Kansas City Southern (KCS).
* Norfolk Southern (NS).
* The former Soo Line (800), owned by Canadian Pacific (CP).
* Union Pacific (UP).

Class I railroads are those with operating revenue of at least $272 million in 2002. Class I carriers comprise only 1 percent of the number of U.S. freight railroads, but they account for 70 percent of the industry's mileage operated, 89 percent of its employees, and 92 percent of its freight revenue. Class I carriers typically operate in many different states and concentrate largely (though not exclusively) on long-haul, high-density intercity traffic lanes. There are seven Class I railroads ranging in size from just over 3,000 to more than 33,000 miles operated and from 2,600 to more than 46,000 employees