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Class I, II & III Railroads Defined in 100 Words

May 30, 2019 Anna Young

train tracks

Definition of Class I, II & III Railroads

Railroads are classified based on their annual operating revenues.

To fall under the railroad classes they must have tracking in the USA, which is why Canadian National and Canadian Pacific are Class I and Ferromex is not.

The class to which a carrier belongs is determined in accordance with the following revenue thresholds:

  • Class II - Less than $447,621,226, but in excess of $35,809,698.
  • Class III - $35,809,698 or less.

The revenue thresholds are periodically updated to account for the impact of inflation. 

The revenue numbers were last updated in 2017.

Class II Railroads

  • These railroads are also known as a “regional railroads.”

Class III Railroads

  • These railroads are also known as a “short line railroads.”

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