Freight Train
Review our summary report to get insight into the impact of freight rail on the economy.
Freight Train
Watch a video describing the Freight Economy Study, featuring Matt Rose and Tom Horan
Map
Explore our interactive story maps to see the impact of freight rail on different industry clusters.
The purpose of this project is to focus the nation’s attention on the economic role of freight system in the US. The focus of the study is on industry clusters in Minnesota and the relationship of these clusters to the freight rail system. Scroll down to find out more about the project.

The Minnesota Report

Report Cover

The Report

This report explores the means for understanding the value of freight transportation to Minnesota’s economy.

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Findings

Findings

Our study of the freight rail system in Minnesota produced five key findings.

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Findings and Policy Challenges

The State and Local Policy Program’s analysis of freight rail’s role in the Minnesota economy produced five findings that represent policy directions for the freight railroads and the government agencies that oversee them.
  1. An efficient freight rail system is vital to economic competitiveness.
  2. Partnership between Class 1 and short-line railroads is essential for the economic growth of Greater Minnesota.
  3. Because rail infrastructure is generally the business of the private sector, the nature of the public–private partnership is unique.
  4. Intermodal transportation policy represents an important new arena for ensuring the continued performance of freight transportation.
  5. The freight transportation community needs to maintain an ongoing dialogue with the public on freight rail.

For full details of these findings, please download the report.
Findings

The Freight Rail Economy

Watch a video describing the Freight Economy Study, featuring Matt Rose and Tom Horan.

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Freight Rail in Minnesota

Freight rail moves the Minnesota economy, transporting over 3.6 million carloads each year...

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Minnesota Industry Cluster Story Maps

metal mining story map

Metal Mining Industry Cluster

Iron ore has been one of Minnesota’s most abundant natural resources for many years...

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agriculture story map

Agriculture Industry Cluster

Agricultural products have been a staple of the Minnesota economy...

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food processing story map

Food Processing Industry Cluster

The food processing industry of Minnesota is one of the most competitive industries...

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Interactive Atlas

Visit our interactive map, loaded with data about freight rail's impact... (high bandwidth required)

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Project Resources

Reports

Click here to access the latest project reports, documents, and the map gallery.

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Project Media

Presentations and news stories about the Freight Economy Project.

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Project Partners

Project Partners

The Freight Economy Project is a partnership between four organizations...

Meet the Project Partners