North American railroads - carloads 2018

The statistic represents the leading North American railroads in 2018, ranked by carloads transported. In that year, BNSF Railway was ranked first with almost 10.7 million carloads of freight transported.

Norfolk Southern Railway – additional information

Norfolk Southern Railway is one of the seven U.S. Class I freight railroads operating on approximately 20,000 miles of tracks in the Southeast, East and Midwest of the United States. It began operations in 1982, under the parent company, Norfolk Southern Corporation, and is headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia. The company is a major transporter of coal, automotive, and industrial products, operating a fleet younger than the average age of the North American locomotive fleet.

In the fiscal year of 2018, the company employed more than 26,600 people. In that same fiscal year it generated almost 11.5 billion U.S. dollars in revenue from its three major business lines – general merchandise, intermodal and coal. Commodities like chemical, agricultural, and metal and construction products make up the railroad’s highest share of revenue.

The railroad is among the leading North American railway companies, in terms of revenue-ton miles, carloads and punctuality. According to Forbes, the company was valued at around 43.1 billion U.S. dollars, ranking it fourth among the world’s largest railway companies. In April 2016, a proposed merger worth almost 30 billion U.S. dollars was dropped, when Canadian Pacific Railway failed to acquire Norfolk Southern after facing heavy resistance from other peer railway companies.

Leading North American railroads in 2018, based on carloads

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North America

Survey time period


Supplementary notes

One carload is equivalent to a shipment of not less than five tons of one commodity.

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Statistics on "Canadian Pacific Railway"

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