Founded in 1913, ASLRRA proudly represents the entrepreneurial owners and operators of short line and regional railroads throughout North America. These approximately 600 small businesses play a vital role in the hub-and-spoke transportation network, often providing the first-mile/last-mile connection between farmers and manufacturers and the ultimate consumer.
Taken together, short line railroads operate 50,000 miles of track or nearly 40 percent of the national railroad network and handle in origination or destination one out of every four rail cars moving on the national system. They have grown from 8,000 miles of track in 1980 to 50,000 miles today. They operate in nearly every U.S. state, literally serving every corner of the country from the forests, to the heartland to the coal fields. In five states short lines operate 100 percent of the state’s total rail network, and in 15 states they operate more than 50 percent of the railroad network. Short lines haul a wide range of goods, including chemicals, food products, aggregates and intermodal.