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Railroads and Rail Transportation

SIC 4011 | NAICS 482111

The following guide to industry information, research, and analysis provides sources for industry trends and statistics, financial ratios, salary surveys, and more.

Select from the following sections or scroll below to view available resources:

Industry Analysis, Statistics, Trends, and Forecasts

Financial Information and Financial Ratios

Compensation and Salary Surveys

Business Valuation Resources

For guides to other industries, see our index of over 400 industries.

Industry Analysis, Statistics, Trends, and Forecasts

Rail Transportation  (view report)
Shortline Railroad Operation  (view report)

Comprehensive research reports provide in-depth industry analysis and five-year growth forecasts, with special focus on the underlying structure and external forces and relationships that affect industries and their performance. Report contents include:

  • Key statistics
  • Market size and characteristics
  • Current performance
  • Competitive landscape
  • Major companies
  • Key risk and success factors
  • Five-year growth forecast

Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corp.
Railway Age Magazine
Monthly trade magazine features news and information for North American freight and passenger railroads, with special features including the "Passenger Rail Outlook" (January issue), "Midyear Report on the State of the Industry" (July issue), "Railroad Financial Desk Book" (October issue), and "Freight Rail Review and Outlook" (December issue). Digital editions of the magazine are available online.

First Research

First Research profiles cover key aspects of an industry's size, scope, and operations, and include a five-year revenue growth forecast. Profiles are updated quarterly and include:
  • Industry overview
  • Recent developments
  • Critical issues and challenges
  • Business trends and opportunities
  • Executive insights
  • Financial benchmarking data
  • Five-year growth forecast

Information resources available from this trade association include:

Freight Rail Traffic Data
Interactive charts allows users to chart weekly, monthly, and annual carload and intermodal traffic data for the U.S. and Canada both in aggregate and by commodity, with commodities covered including coal, grain, ores, minerals, chemicals, food and farm products, and forest products. All information can be viewed free online.

Background Papers
Various sections provide an overview of the U.S. rail transportation industry with topics covered including economic and financial issues, environmental impact, capacity, history, safety, labor relations, and major commodities and products transported. All information is accessible free online.

Views & News
Biweekly newsletter features news and information for short line and regional operators, and includes carload and intermodal traffic data for the most recent week and on a year-to-date basis with comparisons to the same periods in the prior year for trending purposes. Current and prior issues are available online.

Financial Benchmarking Data

Industry Financial Ratios
Rail Transportation  Search for "4821"
Five-year financial statement analysis includes income statements, balance sheets, and key financial ratios, with data available by sales size range on a national, state, and metro area level.
  • Income and expense detail in dollars and percentages
  • Balance sheets in dollars and percentages
  • Cash flow analysis
  • Liquidity and working capital ratios
  • Profitability and return on investment ratios
  • Asset turnover and efficiency ratios
  • Capital structure and debt service ratios

Information resources available from this trade association include:

Railroad Facts
Annual publication provides financial and operating data for Class I carriers on an aggregate basis for the most recent year and selected prior years, with categories covered including traffic, revenue, operating averages, capital expenditures, employment, wages, fuel costs, and more.

Analysis of Class I Railroads
Annual publication provides detailed financial and operating statistics for Class I carriers, with data provided including income statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements, operating expense breakdown, and financial ratios. Data version of the publication includes both PDF and Excel spreadsheet formats.

Railroad Ten-Year Trends
Annual publication provides an extensive selection of freight railroad economic data, with 10-year trend data included for most measures. Report sections include a profile of the industry; traffic, revenue, finance, employee, plant and equipment, and operations statistics; and a list of all U.S. freight carriers.

Compensation Surveys

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Information resources available from this organization include:

Occupational Outlook Handbook - Railroad Occupations
Information provided for this occupational category includes a description of the nature of the work and the work environment, number and types of jobs, education and training requirements, wages and earnings, employment outlook, and sources for additional information. All information is available free online.

Occupational Employment and Wages - Rail Transportation
Annual wage survey provides hourly and annual wage data for occupations in this transportation sector on a national, state, and metropolitan area basis, with statistical measures for national wage data including mean, median, upper and lower quartiles, and upper and lower deciles. All information is available free online.

Business Valuation Resources