The Most Popular Railroad: Ranking the Top Choices

Choose the railroad you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 18, 2024 07:28
Welcome to StrawPoll, where your opinions shape the rankings! Today, we're chugging full steam ahead into the exciting world of railroads. From the historic Orient Express to the ultra-modern bullet trains, railroads have captured our imagination for centuries. But which one stands out as the most popular of them all? That's where you come in! Cast your vote for your favorite railroad, or suggest one that deserves a spot on our prestigious list. Will it be the scenic Trans-Siberian Railway or the lightning-fast Shinkansen? The choice is yours! Join thousands of fellow train enthusiasts in this thrilling race to determine the ultimate railroad champion, only on StrawPoll. All aboard for an unforgettable journey!

What Is the Most Popular Railroad?

  1. 1
    63
    votes

    Union Pacific Railroad

    Abraham Lincoln
    The Union Pacific Railroad is one of the most popular railroads in the United States. It operates on 32,100 miles of track in 23 states, making it the largest railroad network in North America. The company transports a variety of goods, including coal, grain, and automobiles.
    The Union Pacific Railroad is a prominent railroad system in the United States. It is one of the largest and most well-known Class I railroads that operates in the western part of the country.
    • Founding Year: 1862
    • Headquarters: Omaha, Nebraska
    • Network Length: 32,000 miles
    • Number of Employees: approximately 37,000
    • Freight Transportation: agricultural products, coal, chemicals, industrial goods, intermodal goods, etc.
  2. 2
    30
    votes
    BNSF Railway is the second-largest freight railroad in the United States, operating on 32,500 miles of track in 28 states. The company transports a range of products, including coal, petroleum, and agricultural products. BNSF is also a major transporter of intermodal containers.
    The BNSF Railway is one of the largest freight railroad networks in North America. It was formed through the merger of the Burlington Northern Railroad and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway in 1996. The railway operates over 32,500 miles (52,300 km) of track across 28 states and three Canadian provinces, with its headquarters located in Fort Worth, Texas.
    • Track Length: 32,500 miles (52,300 km)
    • Operating States: 28 states and three Canadian provinces
    • Headquarters: Fort Worth, Texas
    • Freight Services: Transportation of a wide range of goods including agricultural products, consumer goods, coal, industrial goods, and more
    • Intermodal Services: Reliable transportation of intermodal freight (containers and trailers) through its extensive network
  3. 3
    21
    votes
    Canadian National Railway is a major freight railroad in Canada and the United States. It operates on 20,400 miles of track, transporting a variety of goods, including petroleum, chemicals, and forest products.
    The Canadian National Railway (CNR) is a major railroad system in Canada, known for its extensive network and efficient transportation services. It is one of the largest and most popular railways in North America.
    • Length: Approximately 32,831 kilometers (20,388 miles)
    • Operating Area: Across Canada and into the United States
    • Engines: Diesel locomotives
    • Freight Services: Transportation of a wide range of goods including petroleum, chemicals, grains, metals, and automotive products
    • Passenger Services: Offering long-distance passenger train services like The Canadian and Corridor services
  4. 4
    17
    votes
    Canadian Pacific Railway is another major freight railroad in Canada, operating on 12,500 miles of track. The company transports a range of products, including coal, grain, and forest products.
    The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), also known as CP Rail, is a transcontinental railway in Canada. It was built between 1881 and 1885 and stretches from the Atlantic coast in the east to the Pacific coast in the west. The railway played a crucial role in the development and settlement of Western Canada, connecting remote regions and enabling the transportation of people and goods across the country.
    • Length: 22,500 km (14,000 mi)
    • Track gauge: Standard gauge (1,435 mm)
    • Number of stations: Approximately 1,100
    • Maximum grade: 4.5%
    • Number of locomotives: Approximately 1,000
  5. 5
    22
    votes
    CSX Transportation is a major freight railroad in the eastern United States, operating on 21,000 miles of track. The company transports a variety of goods, including coal, chemicals, and intermodal containers.
    CSX Transportation, formerly known as the Chessie System and Seaboard System Railroad, is a major freight railroad network in the United States. It operates in 23 states across the eastern seaboard and the Gulf Coast region, serving major markets and connecting industrial and consumer centers.
    • Headquarters: Jacksonville, Florida
    • Year Established: 1986
    • Network Length: 21,000 miles
    • Annual Revenue: $11 billion (2019)
    • Freight Carrying Capacity: Over 5 million carloads annually
  6. 6
    3
    votes
    Norfolk Southern Railway
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    Norfolk Southern Railway

    Norfolk Southern Corporation
    Norfolk Southern Railway is another major freight railroad in the eastern United States, operating on 19,500 miles of track. The company transports a range of products, including coal, chemicals, and intermodal containers.
    The Norfolk Southern Railway is a major freight railroad in the United States. It is known for its extensive network, spanning 20,000 miles across 22 states in the eastern United States. The railway operates primarily in the Southeast, East, and Midwest regions.
    • Number of Locomotives: 3,944 (2019)
    • Year Founded: 1982
    • Headquarters: Norfolk, Virginia
    • Network Size: 20,000 miles
    • Track Gauge: Standard gauge (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)
  7. 7
    9
    votes

    Kansas City Southern Railway

    Arthur E. Stilwell
    Kansas City Southern Railway is a major freight railroad in the United States and Mexico, operating on 6,700 miles of track. The company transports a variety of goods, including petroleum, chemicals, and intermodal containers.
    The Kansas City Southern Railway is a Class I railroad in the United States. It is known for its extensive network connecting the Midwest, Southeast, Gulf Coast, and Mexico. The railroad operates primarily in the states of Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.
    • Headquarters: Kansas City, Missouri
    • Year Founded: 1887
    • Length of Network: 3,100 miles (4,989 kilometers)
    • Number of Employees: Approximately 7,100
    • Track Gauge: Standard Gauge (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in or 1,435 mm)
  8. 8
    5
    votes
    Ferromex is a major freight railroad in Mexico, operating on 8,700 miles of track. The company transports a range of products, including automobiles, chemicals, and intermodal containers.
    Ferromex is a major railroad company in Mexico, operating one of the largest railway networks in the country. It is known for its efficient freight transportation services across various regions of Mexico.
    • Network Length: approx. 10,570 km (6,575 miles)
    • Freight Volume: transporting over 55 million tons annually
    • Coverage Area: serving 24 Mexican states
    • Main Operations: intermodal, automotive, industrial, agriculture, and energy sectors
    • Key Connections: linking major ports, manufacturing centers, and border crossings
  9. 9
    15
    votes
    Ferrocarril Mexicano is another major freight railroad in Mexico, operating on 3,600 miles of track. The company transports a variety of goods, including petroleum, chemicals, and intermodal containers.
    Ferrocarril Mexicano, also known as Ferromex, is a major railway network in Mexico. It is one of the largest and most important railroad companies in the country, providing freight transportation services across various regions. With an extensive network spanning over 10,000 kilometers, Ferrocarril Mexicano plays a crucial role in Mexico's transportation infrastructure.
    • Headquarters: Mexico City, Mexico
    • Year Established: 1998
    • Network Length: over 10,000 kilometers
    • Number of Employees: approximately 15,000
    • Number of Locomotives: over 500
  10. 10
    5
    votes
    Ferrosur is a major freight railroad in Mexico, operating on 2,500 miles of track. The company transports a range of products, including petroleum, chemicals, and intermodal containers.
    Ferrosur is a major railroad company operating in Mexico. It connects various regions of the country and plays a vital role in the transportation of goods and passengers. The company is known for its efficient and reliable services.
    • Year Established: 1998
    • Headquarters: Mexico City, Mexico
    • Track Length: 4,687 km (2,910 mi)
    • Track Gauge: Standard gauge (1,435 mm)
    • Number of Employees: Approximately 5,000

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Ranking factors for popular railroad

  1. Passenger traffic
    The number of passengers using the railroad annually indicates its popularity. High passenger traffic is a sign of a well-utilized and popular railroad.
  2. Freight volume
    The amount of freight transported by the railroad is another important factor. A high volume of freight indicates that the railroad is a popular choice for businesses and freight transportation.
  3. Network coverage
    The extent of the railroad's network and its connectivity to major cities, ports, and industrial areas can also determine its popularity. Greater network coverage increases the utility of the railroad for various purposes, making it more popular.
  4. Customer satisfaction
    The quality of service provided to passengers and freight customers is crucial in determining the popularity of a railroad. Factors such as punctuality, ticket availability, cleanliness, and comfort of trains, efficiency in freight handling, and customer support play a vital role in customer satisfaction.
  5. Safety record
    A railroad's safety record is a key factor to consider when evaluating its popularity. A good safety record indicates that the railroad is well-maintained and managed, leading to greater confidence and trust among passengers and customers.
  6. Affordability
    The cost of using the railroad service for both passengers and freight transportation can impact its popularity. Affordable pricing makes a railroad more attractive and accessible to a wider range of potential users.
  7. Environmental impact
    Increasingly, people are concerned about the environmental impact of transportation. Railroads with a reputation for being eco-friendly, using energy-efficient technologies, and having lower carbon footprints may be more popular among environmentally conscious customers.
  8. Innovation and technology
    The adoption of new technologies and continuous improvement in existing services can make a railroad more popular. Innovations such as high-speed trains, efficient freight handling systems, and better passenger amenities can enhance the overall experience for users and increase the popularity of the railroad.
  9. Reputation
    A railroad's reputation among users and industry insiders can also influence its popularity. A reputation for reliability, punctuality, safety, and customer service can attract more users and make the railroad more popular.
  10. Historical significance
    Some railroads have historical significance, either as iconic routes or as essential parts of a country's history and culture. This historical importance can contribute to a railroad's popularity among tourists, train enthusiasts, and the general public.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular railroad. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or railway is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!

Statistics

  • 1524 views
  • 188 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each railway once every 24 hours. The rank of each railway is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular railroad

The history of railroads dates back to the early 19th century, and since then, they have become an integral part of transportation across the world. Over time, many different types of railways have been developed, from passenger trains to freight trains, and from high-speed rails to scenic routes. When it comes to the most popular railroad, there are many factors to consider, including the type of train, the location, and the purpose of the railway. Some of the most well-known and widely used railways include the Trans-Siberian Railway in Russia, the Orient Express in Europe, and the Shinkansen in Japan. Each of these railways offers a unique experience for passengers and has its own place in history. For example, the Trans-Siberian Railway is the longest railway in the world, stretching over 9,000 kilometers and connecting Moscow with Vladivostok. The Orient Express, on the other hand, is famous for its luxurious accommodations and was once the preferred mode of transportation for European royalty. With so many different railways to choose from, it's difficult to determine which one is the most popular. However, it's safe to say that rail travel continues to be a popular and important mode of transportation across the globe.

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