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Railroads & Rail Transportation – Industry Analysis, Statistics, Trends, and Forecasts

SIC 4011  |  NAICS 482111

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

See the following sections listed below to view available resources by category:

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 industry research reports provide in-depth industry analysis and five-year forecasts, with special focus on the underlying structure and external forces and relationships that affect industries and their performance. Topics addressed in the reports include:
Sample industry research report and selected industry statistics including market size, five-year average growth rate, number of businesses, and total employment are available free online.

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.

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.

Railroad 101
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.

Rail Transportation Market Analysis  Search for "4821" to see available reports

Market analysis reports provide industry statistics for a user-defined area on a national, state, county, metro area, or zip code level, with data provided including number of companies, market volume and sales trends, average company sales, sales per employee, staffing and employment trends, average employee wage, and business start up activity and failure rates. Sample report can be viewed online.

More Resources
For more industry research reports and other resources, see the following resource guide.

Financial Statements and Financial Ratios

Industry Financial Ratios
Rail Transportation  Search for "4821" to see available reports
Five-year financial statement analysis reports provide income statements, balance sheets, and key industry financial ratios for companies of all sizes, with financial data available by sales size range on a national, state, and metropolitan area level including:
Sample reports on a national and metropolitan area level are available free online.

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 and Salary Surveys

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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.

BV Guides and Databases

Private company sales transaction data for over 900 industries.

Related Industries:
Barge Shipping and Transportation
Coal Mining
Freight Forwarders and Brokers
Trucking Companies


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