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 2020, a railroad was classified as a U.S. Class I railroad if 2020 operating revenues were 900 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, Canadian National, Kansas City Southern Railway, Norfolk Southern Railroads and Canadian Pacific, 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 2021, Union Pacific Railroad transported over 26 million carloads and 411.3 billion revenue ton-miles.