Large U.S. freight railroads are poised to invest $24.5 billion in funding, including $13 billion in private money, for railroad infrastructure and maintenance in 2013, according to the Association of American Railroads.
The private funding will be used to upgrade or enhance rail network capacity.
Railroads will also hire about 11,000 workers in 2013, mostly to fill in for the 22 percent of the employees slated to retire in the next five years.
This year’s railroad expenditures aren’t out of the ordinary, however. In the past few years, railroads have used about 17 percent of their revenue on capital projects, according to the organization.
“While most other transportation modes rely on government funds, America’s freight railroads operate on infrastructure they own, maintain and upgrade to serve their customers and power our economy,” Edward R. Hamberger, AAR’s chief executive officer, said in a statement. “This year, freight railroads plan to continue to focus on investments that maintain and enhance our physical infrastructure and safety systems, including cutting edge technology that ensures we are ready to deliver for the future.” - Jon Ross