Railroad Industry

A guide to resources on the railroad industry covering industry trends, news, statistics, and companies.

What's in This Guide

The Industry - Industry surveys supply background information on how the industry operates, identify industry trends, and often list the top companies in the sector. Market research offers data on market share, distribution channels, brands and consumer demographics.

The Numbers - Statistics and reports on industry performance are collected by many trade associations, government agencies and private research firms.

The Competition - Identify the key players in the industry. Find company profiles, financial data and analysis.

The Environment - Read about issues related to the economic, regulatory, social, technological and global conditions of the industry.

News - Business magazines, newspapers and trade journals are key sources for identifying industry trends and keeping up-to-date on the latest industry happenings.

Getting Started with Railroad Industry Research

The Association of American Railroads is the trade association for the industry.They publish Rail Traffic Data and weekly performance measures for the six largest U.S. freight carriers.

In the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Federal Railroad Administration provides information on freight rail, passenger rail and new rail programs including high speed service.

Industry Metrics

  • Tonnage - Revenue and long-term growth trends are measured by industry shipments.
  • Ton-miles - Calculated by measuring industry shipment weight times the average lenght of haul. This data is collected by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).
  • Revenues per Ton-mile - Measures how much revenue comes from moving on ton of freight one mile. An annual measure from the Association of American Railroads (AAR).
  • Originated Tonnage - The total volume handled by the railroads. Another number collected by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).
  • Carloadings - The number of railroad cars used. this measure of short-term trends is collected weekly by the AAR