Freight railroads

Wisconsin Railroads & Harbors Map  
Wisconsin Railroads & Harbors Map

​Wisconsin's economy depends on a multimodal transportation system that permits the safe and efficient movement of goods across the state. Railroads have been an integral part of Wisconsin's transportation system since 1847, when the state's first freight service was introduced. With over 3,300 miles of rail lines in Wisconsin, a strong freight rail system is a key factor in supporting and growing the state’s economy.

Freight railroads​

There are 12 organizations in Wisconsin with common carrier rail freight certificates. The majority of the state's rail infrastructur​e is privately owned and operated. Shortline and regional freight railroads operate on 605 miles of railroad lines preserved by the state, most of which had previously been abandoned.

Assistance programs

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation's (WisDOT's) role is focused on making investment decisions that support the state's transportation network and the overall growth of the economy.

Railroad safety

Safety continues to be one of WisDOT's fundamental missions. The department works with others including the Federal Railroad Administration, the Office of the Commissioner of Railroads and railroad companies to identify and address railroad safety and security concerns.

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