Freight + Rail

Freight planning is an important component of state and metropolitan transportation planning processes. Because of its strategic central location, Tennessee’s freight infrastructure is critical to trade flows throughout the country.

TDOT’s Long Range Planning Division Policy Planning Office is responsible for collaborating with transportation agencies and public and private partners to coordinate statewide freight planning efforts.

TDOT Freight Plan

In 2013, a statewide Freight Advisory Committee (FAC) was established to assist in developing a comprehensive freight plan for Tennessee. Building on input from the public and the FAC, this plan:

  • Inventories the existing assets of the freight transportation system,
  • Evaluates the economic benefits of the system,
  • Anticipates future trends and economic growth,
  • Determines implementable strategies for Tennessee to improve freight movement across all modes of transportation, and
  • Determines the equally important connections between modes.

This plan culminates with a list of short- and long-term projects that address future needs of the Tennessee freight system. To learn more about freight planning, download the Statewide Multimodal Freight Plan below.

View Statewide Multimodal Freight Plan

TDOT also provides freight planning support to Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) upon request by providing freight data and assisting with small freight projects.

Tennessee Statewide Rail Plan

The Tennessee State Railroad  Plan (SRP) is a companion piece to TDOT’s 25-Year Long-Range Transportation Policy Plan and Statewide Multimodal Freight Plan. Tennessee Department of Transportation developed this update to respond to the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008. The SRP reflects the role of rail mobility in serving Tennessee’s passenger and freight demands.

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Knoxville  Regional Freight Movement Plan

The movement of goods and freight represents a $13 trillion industry in the United States, with over 20 billion tons of freight moved each year, a nearly 30% increase from the early 1990s. Numerous forecasts and projections produced by the Federal Highway Administration show the tonnage of freight moved throughout the country will increase 65% by 2020, placing a strain on the nation’s transportation system.

Understanding that a more proactive role must be undertaken to include freight and goods movement in their planning activities, the Knoxville TPO, in coordination with the Lakeway Area Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organization in Morristown, developed the Knoxville Regional Freight Movement Plan.

View Plan