U.S. Class I rail mileage 1990-2018

This statistic represents the Class I rail mileage within the United States from 1990 through 2018. In 2018, the Class I network in the United States had a total length of around 92,837 statute miles.

U.S. Class I Railroads

Ever since the founding of the first U.S. railroad in 1825, freight railroads have played a crucial role in the economic growth of the United States. Throughout the country, Class I railroads make the U.S. freight rail system one of the best networks in the world. At the end of 2014, a railroad was classified as a U.S. Class I railroad if 2014 operating revenues were 475.75 million U.S. dollars or more. The Canadian leading freight railroad companies, Canadian National and Canadian Pacific - with its subsidiaries Grand Trunk Corporation and Soo Line Corporation - operate as Class I railroads in the United States.

The seven large Class I railroads, Union Pacific Railroad, BNSF Railway, CSX Transportation, Grand Trunk Corporation, Kansas City Southern Railway, Norfolk Southern Railroads and Soo Line Corporation, together with short and regional railroads are operating nearly 140,000 miles of the United States’ rail network. Union Pacific along with its main competitor, BNSF Railway, holds a duopoly over the railroad freight market. In 2019, Union Pacific Railroad transported over 8.3 million carloads on over 423 billion revenue ton miles.

Class I rail mileage within the United States 1990 to 2018

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Release date

January 2020


United States

Survey time period

1990 to 2018

Supplementary notes

Data represent miles of road owned (aggregate length of road, excluding yard tracks, sidings, and parallel lines). Portions of Class I freight railroads, Amtrak, and commuter rail networks share common trackage.

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Statistics on "Canadian National Railway"

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