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Rail Freight worth a decade of growth in Washington

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Washington state residents in the USA can thank rail freight for insulating the state during the recent recession. Rail freight contributes $28.5 billion to Washington’s economy each year, the same as a full decade of economic growth, according to a study released earlier this week.

Philip Romero, University of Oregon professor of business administration and the author of the study, said he is impressed with Washington’s trade intensity and competitiveness. Washington’s annual exports are worth the fourth most in the nation, after Texas, New York and California, according to the study paid for by BNSF Railway Co. and the Washington Council on International Trade.

“Washington’s exports per capita are more than twice that of U.S.A as a whole,” he said. The state exported about $11,000 per capita in 2012 compared to the national average of about $5,000, according to the study.