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For the first time ever, freight rail’s economic impact on America’s economy has been quantified—and it’s huge. According to a study from Towson University’s Regional Economic Studies Institute, freight railroads have a ripple effect that resulted in nine jobs for every one freight rail job and supported approximately $274 billion in economic activity across the country in 2014 alone. The industry also contributed billions in taxes at the federal, state and local levels, which helped build schools, pave roads and pay for teachers, police and firefighters. The experts agree: Freight rail has a significant economic footprint that must be preserved by smart public policy.​​​