Moving freight by rail is four times more fuel efficient than trucks. However, it is worth noting that a handful of companies are responsible for carrying most of the goods around the country and to and from ports.
Because of global warming, railroads are increasingly important as the transportation solution of choice. Today, we will look at some of the most prominent players in the railroad industry. We will look at their market capitalization, the region where they operate, and the length of rail they have.
- BNSF Railway
Headquarters: Fort Worth, Texas
Founded: September 22, 1995
Length: 32,500 miles
Region: West, Midwest, and South United States & Western Canada
Market Capitalization: $636.17B
BNSF is one of 7 North American Class I railroads with 35,000 employees and nearly 8,000 locomotives operating in 28 states.
BNSF and the Union Pacific Railroad have a duopoly on all transcontinental freight rail lines in the Western, Midwestern, and Southern United States.
- Union Pacific
Headquarters: Omaha, Nebraska
Length: 32,100 miles
Region: West, Midwest, and South United States
Market Capitalization: $141.9B
- CSX Transportation
Headquarters: Jacksonville, FL
Founded: July 1, 1986
Length: 21,000 miles
Region: Northeast, South, Midwest United States and Eastern Canada
Market Capitalization: $67.89B
- Canadian National Railway
Headquarters: Montreal, Canada
Founded: June 6, 1919
Length: 20,400 mi
Region: Canada, United States
Market Capitalization: 109.93B
CN is Canada’s largest railway company in revenue and the physical size of its rail network. The network spans Canada from the Atlantic coast in Nova Scotia to the Pacific coast in British Columbia across approximately 20,400 route miles.
- Norfolk Southern Railway
Headquarters: Atlanta, Georgia
Length: 19,335 miles
Region: Northeast, South, and Midwest United States
Market Capitalization: $56.86B
It was formed in 1982 by the merger of the Norfolk and Western Railway and the Southern Railway. The most common commodity type carried by NS is Intermodal containers and trailers, offering the most extensive intermodal rail network in eastern North America.
The U.S. freight rail network is considered the world’s largest and most cost-efficient freight system. The railroad companies above invest one of the highest percentages of revenues (19 %) to maintain and add capacity to their system. We hope this article has been informative and gives you a better understanding of how the railway industry works.