As a customer needing freight moved, choose wisely.
Fundamentally the railroads offer you --the buyer-- cheaper rates per ton-mile. But that works best for heavy density commodities, over long distances. And usually over only a few origin to destination pairs.
Rails don’t go everywhere. And rail carries relatively few high-value commodities.
As a shipper (customer), rail is a niche market in many business cases. You will have to be careful in selecting.