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2019 State Rail Plan – Forecasts of freight rail volumes

The State Rail Plan looks at three different freight volume scenarios for 2040 and compares them to the 2016 base year actual volumes. The three forecasts primarily vary due to how closely tied freight rail is to international trade.

Base year – 2016

  • 122 million tons moved annually
  • Predominantly bulk products

Low growth scenario – 2040

  • Forecasts 110 million tons moved annually
  • Assumes a significant decrease in cargo volumes resulting from prolonged tariff and trade tensions

Moderate growth scenario – 2040

  • Forecasts 216 million tons moved annually
  • Assumes no long-term impacts from tariff and trade tensions
  • Assumes growth driven by increases in agricultural exports
  • Assumes steady 2% growth in intermodal container volumes

High growth scenario – 2040

  • Forecasts 321 million tons moved annually
  • Assumes tariff and trade tensions abated
  • Assumes additional increase mostly due to proposed bulk shipment facilities for coal and oil
Rail tonnage by trade type
Statewide rail tonnage by trade type, 2016 and 2040 forecasted scenarios

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