SIC 4013 Railroad Switching and Terminal Establishments


SIC 4013

This category covers establishments engaged primarily in the furnishing of terminal facilities for rail passenger or freight traffic for line-haul service and in the movement of railroad cars between terminal yards, industrial sidings, and other local sites. Terminal companies do not necessarily operate any vehicles themselves, but they may operate the stations and terminals. Lessors of railway property are classified in SIC 6517: Lessors of Railroad Property.



Short Line Railroads


Support Activities for Rail Transportation


The roughly 3,000 stations and track terminals in the United States during the 2000s served about 15 large freight railroads and more than 600 small, regional railroads. As mass transit systems continued to spread across America, rail tracks and terminals shared by more than one railroad company became an increasing concern. A train going just 30 mph needs two-thirds of a mile to stop; a train going 50 mph needs 1.5 miles. High-speed trains traveling in excess of 125 mph also were being placed into the rail system.

The human error factor, which accounted for the majority of train switching accidents, was being eliminated from the industry. As trains became more electronically controlled, safety for passenger and freight cargo rose dramatically. Approximately 80 percent of railroad tracks in the United States used a technology employing electromechanical relay signal systems. However, wireless microprocessors that used computer signals were rapidly replacing the relay systems. The remote control technology was touted by proponents as a way to reduce miscommunication and the accidents resulting from human error. Switching to remote control was expected to save the industry upwards of $250 million annually, and the technology was able to be upgraded continually. The result was a less expensive and more safety-oriented rail system that was expected to grow through 2006. According to Florida East Coast Railway President and CEO John McPherson, quoted in Railway Age, the technology was "the most productive implementation in our industry since we were able to eliminate the caboose."


Railroad switching and terminal establishments for line-haul railroads are connection points facilitating the movement of tons of goods on and off trains, as well as the assembly and tracking of those trains. Closely tied to the railroads' increased profitability in the 1990s was tighter scheduling...

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