Rail Access - An Economic Benefit

Monday, April 24, 2017

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Direct rail access and easy freight transportation, makes Gage County, Nebraska a hub for manufacturing and logistics businesses transporting goods regionally or nationally. Only certain communities have direct access to Class 1 railroads. Locating in one of them can significantly reduce transportation expenses.

U.S. railroads have been a significant economic driver since the steel tracks were first nailed to the ground. Towns sprouted up along the rail line throughout the West and this easy form of transportation drove our national migration. While transportation has changed since the 1800’s, rail continues to play an important role in our country’s economic growth. A recent study found that $274 billion in economic activity is generated annually from Class 1 railroads, including $33 billion in tax revenue and 1.5 million jobs (Towson University Regional Economic Studies Institute (RESI), 2016).

Railroads drive economic growth because they make it possible to move goods across the country, opening up a large market for local businesses. Since one train can carry the same load as hundreds of trucks, rail transportation can be far more convenient. Gage County, Nebraska is fortunate to have direct rail access, making it a convenient place for businesses looking to relocate or expand.

There are twelve freight railroads in Nebraska, moving 511.1 million tons of cargo through the state in 2012 alone (Association of American Railroads, n.d.). The three top commodities being transported out of Nebraska are farm products, food products, and chemicals. Simultaneously, our largest import by rail is coal.

Opportunities for Growth

Communities with direct rail access have increased opportunities to land large-scale industrial projects, attract new manufacturing companies, and export goods and raw materials. Site selectors have a list of criteria that must be met when determining where to locate a business. Direct access to freight rail is often one of them and, when it is, Gage County, Nebraska is a strong contender. In addition to being centrally located to Lincoln, Omaha, and Kansas City, our direct rail access and low cost of land, makes it economically viable to build a business here.

Business Assistance

NGage offers a variety of tools and resources to local businesses and those interested in relocating to Gage County, Nebraska. You can contact us for information regarding local and state opportunities, taxes, business incentives, market research, financing resources, and more. We provide confidential consultations and no-cost assistance, making us a valuable resource that your business can leverage.


Association of American Railroads. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.aar.org/data-center/railroads-states#state/NE

Towson University Regional Economic Studies Institute (RESI). (2016). Economic and Fiscal Impact Analysis of Class I Railroads.

Category: Rail access, BNSF, Union Pacific