2009 Iowa’s Rail System Background Prepared by the Office of Systems Planning December 2010

(2010) 2009 Iowa’s Rail System Background Prepared by the Office of Systems Planning December 2010. Transportation, Department of


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Iowa’s Rail Environment Iowa’s rail transportation system provides both freight and passenger service. Rail serves a variety of trips, including those within Iowa and those to other states as well as to foreign markets. While rail competes with other modes, it also cooperates with those modes to provide intermodal services to Iowans. In 2009 Iowa’s rail transportation system could be described as follows: Freight Iowa’s 130,000-mile freight transportation system includes an extensive railroad network, a well-developed highway system, two bordering navigable waterways, and a pipeline network as well as air cargo facilities. While rail accounts for only 3 percent of the freight network, it carries 43 percent of Iowa’s freight tonnage. A great variety of commodities ranging from fresh fish to textiles to optical products are moved by rail. However, most of the Iowa rail shipments consist of bulk commodities, including grain, grain products, coal, ethanol, and fertilizers. The railroad network performs an important role in moving bulk commodities produced and consumed in the state to local processors, livestock feeders, river terminals and ports for foreign export. The railroad’s ability to haul large volumes, long distances at low costs will continue to be a major factor in moving freight and improving the economy of Iowa. Key 2008 Facts • 3,945 miles of track • 18 railroads • 49.5 million tons shipped • 39.7 million tons received • 2 Amtrak routes • 6 Amtrak stations • 66,286 rail passenger rides Key Rail Trends • slightly fewer miles being operated; • railroads serving Iowa has remained the same; • more rail freight traffic; • more tons hauled per car; • higher average rail rates per ton-mile since 2002; • more car and tons hauled per locomotive; and • more ton miles per gallon of fuel consumed. Iowa’s rail system and service has been evolving over time relative to its size, financial conditions, and competition from other modes.

Item Type: Departmental Report
Keywords: Iowa's Rail System, Trains, Iowa, Transportation
Subjects: Transportation > Railroads
ID Code: 11604
Deposited By: Margaret Barr
Deposited On: 01 Nov 2011 12:33
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2011 12:33
URI: https://publications.iowa.gov/id/eprint/11604