What Are Short Line Railroads? Why Do They Matter?

Nov 15, 2022 | General Trains

When you think about the railroad industry and how a large freight rail network fuses with shippers, the short line railroad comes to mind. Shortline railroads are short lines that are found in small towns in the North American rural region. 

This type of rail serves the purpose of relieving congestion by serving as a feeder and distribution system for the freight rail network.  They are effective at distribution because they are connected to every four rail cars that pass through the Canadian rail network.

BNSF in North America

This railroad company is among the top companies that have played a huge role in connecting the larger North American region and the three Canadian provinces that are along the Canadian pacific. 

The connection of short line railroads for the past 170 years has been the foundation of the company’s successful history.

More than 400 different lines that form the railroads used by the company help to grow and serve the shippers because they contribute to the American and Canadian economy. The company is constantly coming up with effective solutions to providing its customers with quality services.

BNSF Environmental Safety Solutions

The company has revolutionized the railroad industry by becoming the most sustainable rail company in history that can move bulky cargo over long distances on earth. 

The company is focused on ensuring that their freight rail is environmentally friendly and a clean solution for railroad companies to adopt.

The machines used in the locomotives are smarter and cleaner, which lowers their environmental footprint. 

As a company that cares about the customers and their safety, their team of professionals is trained in risk mitigation, waste management, and responding to a leakage in the rail cars.

The company has created links with green power companies to help adapt to renewable energy, such as forklifts, and better mage the chemical supply chain.

Rail Cars & Customer Safety

 As one of the top line companies in the railroad industry in the Canadian Pacific, our company has well-trained employees who have set the best track record in the history of railroads. Our company has recruited the top industry experts depending on the type of rail car.

Refrigeration cars, tank cars, and auto-track cars require specialized personnel who can access, report, and fix real-time. The same applies to rail cars that serve as passenger cars since having a person who can aid in technical emergencies poses a threat to the safety of both customers and employees.

Our company ensures that the rail car does not experience any emergencies or safety risks by providing three key services. These services include; ensuring the tracks are clean, conducting routine Ballast maintenance, and maintaining the switching gear, among many more rail management services.

The Canadian Pacific Line

The Canadian railroad is filled with short lines that link the mainline and the regional railroad. Our company can work with short line connections to satisfy the needs of our customers and their businesses in the Canadian and North American region.

The line eases movement over thousands of miles in the North American and Canadian provinces, serving many communities in every location the railroad passes through.

The Canadian Pacific & CSX Lines

These are the largest freight railroads globally that supply many materials, including oil acting as links between the eastern refineries and the Norfolk Southern region. These railroads can reduce the traffic of rail cars and trains in Chicago, resulting in unnecessary delays in shipments.  

The lines offer a transcontinental route that ultimately lowers the price for most products. CSX rail is one of the first railroad companies to turn a new page and promote environmentally friendly solutions in the railroad industry.

It came up with an online calculator that calculates carbon emissions from rail shipments and comparing that data between transportation choices to inform customers’ freight choices.

Shortline and Regional Railroads

Most towns found along the Canadian Pacific and North American freight rail are rural and comprise small towns. 

Shortline and regional railroads are the only links that Shippers have to stay connected to the national railroad network.

Most businesses rely on these lines to serve and cater to the needs of the local customers in the states served by the bar. These lines increased the economic and political influence of states found in western America.

Having a well-connected railroad network made the USA and Canada expand their markets since food crops, and raw materials can be easily transported from the East Coast to the West Coast. This has not only boosted local trade but also international trade and movement.

Shortline Railroads & Business

Unlike other forms of transportation, railroads offer a more affordable means of transport, making people across states and international borders. This means that any person can live anywhere they please.

There is no doubt about the benefits that short lines and regional railroads offer to the public. Shippers are also among the key benefactors of a rail network that supports their business and guarantees that customers are satisfied.

The Need for More Short Line Railroads

Professional observers have recognized the importance of having a long-term value of freight rail and short line railroad infrastructure. Member companies and private equity firms are leading railroad companies in mergers and acquisitions.

There is a sudden increase in short-line competition because of their low affordable cost, especially with rural roads inaccessible to trucks. Short lines can access these locations. It also eases the transportation of people to areas that have tight labor markets.

To maintain shortline railroads across the nation, holding companies acquire these small companies and control their operations. The shortline company does not cease its operations or reduce the number of trips in its program.

The Future of the Short Line Railroad

With the digitization of the rail industry, data analysis software is meant to make railroads safer, reliable, and efficient in service provision to the customers.  Technology will aim to eliminate human error on railroad operations for better safety and efficiency.

With the help of smart sensors deployed across the nation, railroads will use big data to mitigate challenges within the network. 

This means that railroads will uncover trends in data and apply them to enhance operation efficiency and safety. There is limited risk for human error in railroad operations. From freight to passenger rails, embracing technology is the way to go for the rail business.

Automation has a lot installed for the future of railroads, starting with limited risk for human error in railroad operation. From freight to passenger rails, embracing technology is the way to go for the rail business.

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