Prior to the advent of the railroads, Narragansett Bay was Rhode Island’s principal transportation route. However, water transportation is now relatively less important, surpassed first by rail and then by highway links.
Only one freight railway operates in Rhode Island, the regional Providence and Worcester Railroad. Waste and scrap compose most of the tonnage of goods shipped by rail and originating in Rhode Island. The railroad also carries stone, chemicals, and fabricated metals. The state has 164 km (102 mi) of track. The only passenger train service is provided by the Washington-Boston Amtrak link that passes through the state. In 2007 Rhode Island had 10,477 km (6,510 mi) of roads, of which 116 km (72 mi) were part of the federal interstate highway system. The principal route is Interstate 95, which crosses the state from the southwest to northeast, passing through Providence. Interstate 295 forms a belt around the city.
Theodore Francis Green State Airport, located south of downtown Providence, is one of six state-operated airports. Each year in the mid-1990s more than 1 million passengers boarded or departed aircraft at the airport, making it by far the busiest of the state facilities.
Year-round ferry service is provided between Galilee and Block Island. Additional routes to the island are active in summer months. There is also year-round ferry service between Bristol and Prudence Island in Narragansett Bay.
Rhode Island is a popular vacation state, attracting visitors with its sandy beaches, historic sites, and recreational opportunities such as boating and fishing. Tourists are drawn to Block Island and other coastal locations as well as the resort city of Newport, noted for its opulent mansions, some of which are open to the public. Visitors to the state spend $1.4 billion annually. "Rhode Island" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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