Premium statistics

Industry-specific and extensively researched technical data (partially from exclusive partnerships).

A paid subscription is required for full access.

North American freight rail cars by type 2009-2018

North American freight rail cars in service from 2009 to 2018, by car type (in 1,000 units)

by E. Mazareanu, last edited Aug 9, 2019
North American freight rail cars by type 2009-2018 Despite their iconic status from so many U.S. books and films, the box car is not the most common type of freight rail car in North America; this honor belongs to the covered hopper, of which there were 569 across North America in 2018.
Types of freight cars

Freight cars (or goods cars) are unpowered railway vehicles used to transport cargo. They can be divided into several categories based on the type of cargo to be transported. Some are designed to carry specialized, unpacked cargo: hoppers and gondolas carry loose bulk materials such as fertilizers and coal, while tanks are designed to carry gasses. Other cars are designed to carry generic cargo types: box cars are enclosed to be able to carry partial cargo loads, whereas flats are open in order to carry full, pre-loaded shipping containers.

Rail freight volumes

Although rail freight volumes in the United States have stayed relatively consistent for the last decade, in 2018 rail freight accounted for less than ten percent of the domestic freight market, even when intermodal transport incorporating rail is included. Rail is not only used to transport cargo domestically though; there are significant flows of commodities by rail with both Canada and Mexico.
Show more

North American freight rail cars in service from 2009 to 2018, by car type (in 1,000 units)

Statista Accounts: Access All Statistics. Starting from $588 / Year
Basic Account
Get to know the platform

You only have access to basic statistics.
This statistic is not included in your account!

Premium Account
Your perfect start with Statista
  • Instant access to 1m statistics
  • Download in XLS, PDF & PNG format
  • Detailed references

$49 / Month *

Corporate Account
Full access

Corporate solution including all features.

* All products require an annual contract.
   Prices do not include sales tax.
Leading companies trust Statista:
Related Studies: Available to Download in PDF or PPTX Format
Rail industry
Rail industry

All Information
in one Presentation

Rail industry

Everything On "Rail industry" in One Document: Edited and Divided into Handy Chapters. Including Detailed References.

Statista has been my savior on several occasions. The site is easy to maneuver and the data is in a format that can go right into a report or presentation.
Marlene Greenfield

Marlene Greenfield
Vice President, Hearst Magazines

Statistics on "Rail industry"
  • Overview
  • Global rail industry
  • U.S. rail industry
Discover Statista
Need help with using Statista for your research? Tutorials and first steps
Further Content: Statistics, Studies, and Topic Pages
Learn more about how Statista can support your business.
Do you have any questions about our business solutions?

We provide you with detailed information about our Corporate Account.