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Road and Structure Investments
Road & Structures Investments
(in millions $)

source: American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association Facts and Figures 2007 Edition

The ability of Red River Valley Railroad to utilize these longer, heavier trains is going to reduce transportation costs by about 10 cents per bushel and that is going to make North Dakota grain more competitive in the marketplace.

Tony Johannsen
Dakota Prarie Ag, North Dakota
Strengthening Graphic

Short line railroads are creating American jobs and fueling economic growth in rural and small town America. Short lines directly employ nearly 20,000 people and they create and support countless more American jobs in industries and communities that use and depend on short line rail.

Short lines are the life-blood of many communities.

Local railroads are restoring connections to thousands of local communities and small businesses. For shippers, the ability to use short line railroads means lower costs, more flexible local service and a greatly expanded market reach for local products. Short lines provide small businesses and local farmers access to world markets by connecting them to the national rail network. Having rail transportation as a shipping alternative keeps transportation costs competitive.

Short lines reinvest nearly 30% of their annual revenues in infrastructure.

Short lines must invest heavily in repairing and maintaining track. They reinvest nearly 30% of their annual revenues in their infrastructure, a higher percentage than any other industry in the country. Over half of industrial development projects on short lines planned in recent years will require track investments.

Strengthening Train Graphic

Once-neglected railroad branch lines are being renovated, employing thousands, revitalizing communities, and reducing highway congestion. Short lines have grown from 8,000 miles of track in 1980 to more than 50,000 miles today. They fill a critical gap left by the departure of large freight railroads for much of rural and small town America by keeping those areas connected to the main railroad network, and ultimately global markets.


Beachner Grain depends on the South Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad to move more than five million bushels of grain to market every year. It is critical for our business and for family farmers throughout Southeastern Kansas.

Gary Beachner
Beachner Grain, Kansas