Source: International Union of Railways.
The quantity of freight carried by rail is related to the size and composition of the national economy. Large countries imply longer national distances over which rail freight is carried, which results in more ton-km for an equivalent quantity of freight. Countries endowed with natural resources usually involve more rail tonnage. The United States, the Russian Federation, China, Canada, Australia, and South Africa are large countries with a substantial amount of natural resources being carried by their rail system.