Georgia boasts one of the most extensive Freight Rail systems in the U.S., with 5,000 miles of track that run through most of the state’s 159 counties.
View Estimated Track Route Mileage
Class I Railroads
The Freight Rail System primarily consists of two Class 1 Railroads—Norfolk Southern and CSX, which own and operate 71% of the total state system.
Light Density Lines
Georgia DOT owns nearly 540 miles of light density rail line. Approximately 90% of the 540 miles is leased to a shortline operator. The remaining 10% is leased to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources for use as a bicycle and pedestrian trail, is inactive, or is not leased.
- 29% (1,433 miles) of the state’s railroad system is operated by 25 independent or short-line operators
- Norfolk Southern has approximately 851 miles of light density lines and CSX has another 242 miles
- Georgia’s light density lines carry less than 5 million gross tons of freight per year and function as local shortline service operators, primarily in rural agricultural areas
- 2,436 miles of the rail system are classified as "mainline track"
- Some Georgia mainlines transport more than 80 million gross tons per year, ranking them among the most heavily used in the country.
The leading freight rail commodities originating in Georgia are clay, concrete, glass, stone products, non-metallic minerals, miscellaneous mixed shipments, pulp/paper and/or allied products. The leading freight commodities terminating in Georgia are coal, farm products, chemical/allied products and miscellaneous mixed shipments.
Georgia DOT seeks to preserve and enhance rail freight access for the state’s shippers through the strategic acquisition and rehabilitation of shortline trackage in danger of abandonment.