Freight Railroads to Spend a Record $13B on CapEx in 2012

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported Monday that the nation's freight railroads are projected to invest a record $13 billion in capital expenditures in 2012 to expand, upgrade, and enhance the nation's freight rail network.

The freight railroads also expect to hire more than 15,000 employees this year, replacing retiring workers and adding new positions nationwide.

"America's freight railroads operate on infrastructure they own, build and maintain themselves so taxpayers don't have to," said Edward R. Hamberger, AAR President and CEO.

In recent years, railroads have been spending roughly 17 percent of their annual revenue on capital expenditures, compared with the average U.S. manufacturer that spends roughly 3 percent of revenue on capital expenditures.

Privately owned freight rail networks are maintained through continued investments that have reached record levels in the past three years. These investments include expenditures such as intermodal terminals that facilitate truck to train freight transport; new track, bridges and tunnels; modernized safety equipment; new locomotives and rail cars, and other components that ensure the U.S. freight rail network remains the best in the world.

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