As you open gifts or sit down to a traditional dinner this holiday season, think about how all that great stuff—including the tree—got there.

The fact is that few people give much thought as to how those holiday items wind up in their homes, said Emily Traiforos, Connecticut State Director of GoRail, a national organization that promotes the benefits of freight rail.

That's why GoRail is reminding people this holiday season that the nationwide intermodal freight network, anchored by railroads, is their friend when it comes to all the holiday stuff they are buying and receiving.

That includes the ugly sweaters.

Intermodal refers to the movement of freight across multiple modes of transportation using shipping containers that can travel between ships, trains, and trucks—without ever handling the freight.

This enables products to move quickly from manufacturer to consumer.

Freight Rail Network

Connecticut's seven freight railroads operate over 438 miles of track and employ 117 people as of 2015, the last year for which statistics are available.

It would have taken approximately 200,000 additional truckloads to move the 3.2 million tons of freight that moved by rail in Connecticut in 2014, Traiforos said.

While many people will be getting around to putting up holiday decorations sometime after Thanksgiving, freight railroads have been in the holiday spirit for months, she said.

"Together with trucks and cargo ships, America's freight railroads have worked since the dog days of summer to move thousands of containers filled with consumer goods to retailers across the country," she said.

The more Connecticut expands its freight rail infrastructure, the better for everyone.
Founded in 2004 on the principle that all politics is local, GoRail educates thousands of community leaders from across the country on the economic importance of freight rail and works to mobilize these local leaders in support of pro-rail policies.

Traiforos said that railroads' private investments into their own infrastructure cut transportation costs and roadway congestion while helping the economy and creating jobs.

The more Connecticut can expand its freight rail infrastructure, the better it is for everyone, she said.