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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
https://www.railwayage.com / digital-edition

Monthly trade publication provides news and information for freight and passenger rail professionals, with topics covered in various issues including operations, technology, strategic planning, marketing, management, labor, and regulatory challenges and special features including the annual "Passenger Rail Outlook" (January) and "Freight Rail Outlook" (December). Digital edition is available free online.


Trade Press Media Group
Progressive Railroading
https://www.progressiverailroading.com/

Monthly publication features news and information for North American railroading professionals, with topics covered in the online news section including rail trends, intermodal, passenger rail, short lines and regional, high speed rail, communication and signal, maintenance of way, sustainability, security, suppliers, and legislation and regulation. Selected articles from each issue can be viewed free online.


Association of American Railroads
Resources available from this trade association include:

Railroad 101
https://www.aar.org/
Various sections provide an overview of the rail transportation industry, with topics covered including types of rail systems (e.g., intercity passenger, commuter, freight) and their operations, funding, and ownership and types of commodities (e.g., intermodal units, chemicals, energy products, agricultural products, construction materials, automotive products) commonly transported by freight rail systems.

Freight Rail Traffic Data
https://my.aar.org/
Interactive online charts allow users to view weekly, monthly, and annual carload and intermodal unit traffic data for the U.S. and Canada both in aggregate and by commodity, with commodities covered including agricultural and food products, chemicals, coal, forest products, metals and ores, minerals, motor vehicles and parts, and petroleum and petroleum products. All charts are available free online.


American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association
Views & News / Facts and Fact Book
https://www.aslrra.org/news / facts-and-fact-book

Biweekly newsletter features news and information for short line and regional railroad operators, and facts section and accompanying railroad fact book provide an overview of the industry and its impact on the U.S. economy and include statistical data on number of operators, track miles operated, traffic volume, customers served, freight revenues, and employment. All information is available free online.


BizMiner Market Analysis Reports
Rail Transportation
https://www.bizminer.com  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


BizMiner Industry Financial Ratios
Rail Transportation
https://www.bizminer.com  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.

Association of American Railroads
Resources available from this trade association include:

Railroad Facts
https://my.aar.org/
Annual factbook provides financial and operating statistics for U.S. Class I railroads on an aggregate basis for the most recent year and selected prior years for trending purposes, with financial statistics provided including condensed income statement, revenue and expenses, ordinary income, return on assets, return on investment, regulatory cost of capital, net working capital, and capital expenditures.

Analysis of Class I Railroads
https://my.aar.org/
Annual publication provides financial and operating statistics for U.S. Class I freight railroads on both an individual and aggregate basis for the most recent year, with financial statistics provided including income statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements, financial and operating ratios, and capital expenditures. Data version includes a downloadable PDF file and an Excel-based data spreadsheet.

Railroad Ten-Year Trends
https://my.aar.org/
Annual publication provides an extensive selection of information for the U.S. freight railroad industry over a 10-year time period, with statistics provided for Class I freight railroads including performance, traffic and revenue, financial statistics, operations, labor, and property and equipment. Excerpts from this publication including the table of contents, selected pages, and index can be viewed free online.



Compensation and Salary Surveys


U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Rail Transportation
https://www.bls.gov/oes/
Annual wage survey provides hourly and annual wage data on a national, state, and local area basis for occupations employed by line-haul railroads that are primarily engaged in transporting freight and passengers over long, medium, and short distances within a rail network and short-line railroads that are primarily engaged in moving freight for short distances on lines that are not part of a rail network.


PayScale, Inc.
Compensation data available from this organization includes:

Line-Haul Railway Transportation
https://www.payscale.com/
Free online service provides salary, bonus, and hourly wage data for job positions in this sector such as systems engineer, railroad inspector, locomotive engineer, train conductor, and commercial truck driver, with employers for which salary or hourly wage data is provided including CSX Corp., Norfolk Southern Corp., Kansas City Southern, Union Pacific Corp., and Burlington Northern Santa Fe, LLC.

Short Line Railroad
https://www.payscale.com/
Free online service provides salary, bonus, and hourly wage data for job positions in this sector such as operations manager, safety director, trainmaster, train dispatcher, terminal manager, yardmaster, railroad inspector, locomotive engineer, and railroad conductor, with firms for which data is provided including Genesee & Wyoming, Inc., R. J. Corman Railroad Co., LLC, and Watco Companies, L.L.C.



BV Guides and Databases


BVMarketData
www.bvresources.com
Private company sales transaction data for over 900 industries.



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