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Top 5 North American railroads (operating revenue)

What are the biggest railroads in North America as judged by operating revenue?

Railroad sign says it all
Gene Bowker

According to 2009 results the largest railroads were:

  1. BNSF $ 14,124,000,000
  2. Union Pacific $ 14,117,000,000
  3. CSX $ 8,170,000,000
  4. Norfolk Southern $ 7,969,000,000
  5. Canadian National $ 6,451,000,000

Out of these revenues, the railroads must pay their expenses including salaries, operating costs, taxes (Federal, State, Local) and also reinvestment in their infrastructure.

These "super-railroads" have been formed through mergers of many smaller railroads over the last 40 years.

The question always will be, are there more mergers coming? The last round of mega-mergers in the industry in the late 1990s caused severe traffic issues and has lead many to believe that future mergers would be more difficult to approve.

Source: American Association of Railroads (


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