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While large, national (Class I) railroads do not handle small loads because of their immense size, smaller local railroads excel at tasks like these. Regional (Class II) and short line (Class III) railroads, similar to state and local roads, are incredibly important for local development. These small, local railroads transport freight in the region, and also provide connections to larger, Class I tracks around the country. Local railroads can often provide the only freight rail service available to many rural areas across the nation. Short line local railroads, the smallest of three revenue-based classifications of railroads, are vital for small businesses. Some businesses regularly operate on tracks as small as 20 miles long between two plants or locations. There are over 500 short line local railroads in operation today in the United States. Local railroads like these allow small businesses especially those in the important but fading fields of manufacturing, mining, assembly, and production - to transport their goods without the inconvenience of continental railroads. Local light rail or trams are increasing in popularity and number. Bringing local railroads into the commuter market can reduce emissions and frustration for many citizens. Additionally, the advent of light rail in many depressed urban areas often results in renewed economic development along the local railroads. Efficient mass transit is crucial for a thriving city and your local railroads can be a strong part of this outcome. Local railroads bring new jobs, private business investments, and a renewed sense of purpose to their communities. Transportation is an important part of our daily life, and one of the best methods of transportation are local railroads. Visit your local railroads today to better appreciate all that they do for you!