Rail service provides a much needed, heavily utilized mode of transportation for a number of shippers in Kentucky. According to the Association of American Railroads, more than 59 million tons of freight rail originates in Kentucky, while another 36.7 million tons of freight is transported into the state via rail. 

The average distance a ton of freight can be transported by rail on one gallon of fuel is 476 miles. According to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, by weight most of Kentucky’s freight rail industry services the coal industry, but many other commodity types are transported along the state’s extensive rail system, including automobiles and automotive parts, agriculture products, sand, recycled metals, oil, and natural gas.

More than 4,100 Kentuckians are employed in the freight rail industry. Each freight rail job supports 4.5 jobs elsewhere in the economy. 

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