Class 1 Railroad

A Class 1 Railroad is a freight railroad company in the United States with an operating revenue of over $272.0 million. There are seven Class 1 Railroads in the United States, and two Mexican and two Canadian railroads would also qualify if they were US companies.

Class 1 Railroads are essential for logistics and transportation needs in the United States. They play a vital role in the economy by connecting businesses and communities with each other, and moving goods throughout the country.

The importance of Class 1 Railroads is evidenced by their high operating revenue. This revenue is generated from the freight that they transport, which includes a wide variety of goods such as agricultural products, automotive parts, coal, lumber, and finished goods.

Class 1 Railroads are also responsible for transporting a large percentage of the country’s hazardous materials. This cargo requires special training and handling to keep everyone safe.

The seven Class I Railroads in the United States are:

  • BNSF Railway Co. BNSF operates in 28 states across the western two-thirds of the country, from the Pacific Coast to the Gulf of Mexico and from Canada to New Mexico.
  • CSX Transportation. CSX operates in 23 states in the eastern and southeastern parts of the country.
  • Grand Trunk Corporation (Canadian National’s operations). The Grand Trunk Corporation operates in the United States and Canada.
  • Kansas City Southern Railway. Kansas City Southern Railway operates in 10 states in the Midwest and South.
  • Norfolk Southern. Norfolk Southern operates in 22 states in the eastern and southern parts of the country.
  • Soo Line Corporation (Canadian Pacific’s operations). The Soo Line Corporation operates in the United States and Canada.
  • Union Pacific Railroad. UP operates in 23 states in the western and central parts of the country.

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(Amtrak and Via Rail— would both qualify as Class I if they were freight carriers.)

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