Posted on: June 24, 2021 Posted by: Talha Seo Comments: 0
largest railroad companies

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that each year, millions of people, goods, and services move via train across the country. But beyond the continental United States, this transportation extends through the North American continent, including Canada. When you think of train travel, you may envision a commuter ride on Amtrak or a local city train.

But, North America’s largest railroad companies account for much more than quick passenger trips. These companies help people and enterprises move more quickly and efficiently. But, what are the most famous American railroads?

Who owns railroad tracks in USA? And what are the biggest companies to know? Read on to discover more.

Canadian National Railway

The Canadian National Railway is a Canadian freight company headquartered in Montreal, Canada. The railway extends throughout Canada. It also services the southern and midwestern regions of the United States.

The Canadian National Railway is a leading North American logistics and transportation company. Each year, the company transports more than 250 billion Canadian Dollars worth of goods. Because of high revenue reports and expected growth, the company is one of the best railroad stocks for investors.

The railroad company employs more than 24,000 team members across the North American Continent and has a network that spans more than 20,000 miles. The Canadian National Railway connects significant ports across three coasts in the United States. The company focuses its operations on regions heavy with resources and manufacturing traditions.

Operations and Safety

The company moves natural and raw materials, intermediate goods, and finished goods to other markets. In 2020, the company reported a 65.4% operating ratio. The railway company operates in more than 40 distribution centers across North America and offers more than 13,000 origin and destination pairings.

The Canadian National Railway aims to become the safest railway company in North America. The company implores safety leadership and training called Life Critical Rules.

These rules help to set railroad safety expectations for employees. This keeps operations running smoothly, safely, and efficiently.


CSX operates in the United States and Canada. The company is considered one of North America’s largest and most developed freight railroad services. CSX has a storied history.

The company once used horse-drawn carriages to transport goods. But today, CSX operates one of the region’s largest and most efficient networks. CSX Corporation is based in Jacksonville, Florida.

The company transports large items like trailers and shipping containers. The CSZ network spans more than 20,000 miles across 23 states in the United States and the Canadian regions of Quebec and Ontario. These are just some of CSX’s major port terminals:

  • St. Lawrence Seaway
  • Mississippi River
  • Great Lakes
  • Atlantic
  • Gulf Coasts

CSX champions environmental best practices. The company implores train transportation efforts that seek to minimize fuel consumption. This helps to reduce emissions and pollution.

Union Pacific

Did you know that the Union Pacific company has been in business for more than 155 years? Considered one of America’s leading transportation companies, Union Pacific services more than 32,000 miles and 23 states. The company employs 31,000 employees and has a fleet of 7,600 locomotives.

Over the last decade, Union Pacific invested $35 billion into infrastructure and network capabilities. The company serves more than 10,000 customers and is the only railway know to serve all significant Mexico gateways. Union Pacific also services regions of Canada.

The Union Pacific company invests in its local communities through the Ties Giving Program. The company champions diversity and inclusion. Through the UP Cares program, Union Pacific develops railway safety tips and tries to reduce train accidents across the network.

Norfolk Southern

The Norfolk Southern Corporation operates more than 19,000 routes across 22 states in America. The company serves all major container ports in the eastern part of the United States. Norfolk Southern has more than 400 warehouse and distribution centers, 116 active coal-loading facilities, and 116 bulk transfer facilities.

The company is a railway leader in the transportation of construction materials, chemicals, agriculture, industrial products, and other sectors. The company is also known to transport automobiles, car parts, and coal. Norfolk Southern operates the following subsidiaries:

  • Triple Crown Services
  • TransWorks
  • Thoroughbred Mechanical Services
  • Thoroughbred Direct Intermodal Services
  • T-Cubed
  • Lambert’s Point Docks

Like the other largest railroad companies, Norfolk Southern also focuses on sustainability and environmental business practices. The company has invested in a technologically advanced set of trains and transport systems that improve fuel efficiency.

Giving Back

Northfolk Southern has also launched a “Trees and Trains” reforestation project that helps to liven more than 10,000 acres of land. In addition, across all facets of the business, the company reduces and recycles waste.

Safety First

A large fleet and network require top safety and protection. In 2019, the company provided training to more than 2,000 first responders across the network. Railroad workers could check the guide for a FELA lawsuit to protect their health and wellbeing.


BNSF is one of America’s largest railways. The network spans more than 30,000 miles. With more than 400 railway lines, BNSF has served the community for more than 170 years.

BNSF is present across 28 American states and three Canadian provinces. The company employes 35,000 people and is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas.

BNSF Railway services more than 40 ports and has an average of 1,200 trains in motion per day. According to the BNSF 2020 facts and figures, per year, the company transports enough wheat flour to bake more than 23 billion dozen cookies!

These Railroad Companies Connect North America

Are you impressed by these railroad companies’ facts and figures? Trains do more than transport passengers, goods, and services. These extensive companies and networks help connect the North American continent and employ thousands of people.

The largest train companies also help support local communities and keep the planet healthy. Did you find this information interesting? Then check out our other business stories.

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