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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR: Rail traffic slowdown continued in Week 46

The latest figures show that U.S. rail traffic is continuing to slow down, with railroads logging a total 532,532 carloads and intermodal units during the week ending Nov. 21 — a 5.7 percent decline compared with the same week in 2014, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

Total carloads for the week ending Nov. 21 were 267,830 carloads, down 9.4 percent compared with the same week in 2014, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 264,702 containers and trailers, down 1.7 percent compared with 2014.

Commodity groups that posted decreases for the week included petroleum and petroleum products, which was down a whopping 25.8 percent. Carloads of metallic ores and metals decreased 22.7 percent; and coal fell 16.8 percent. Commodities that posted increases included miscellaneous carloads, up 12.3 percent; motor vehicles and parts, up 5.9 percent; and nonmetallic minerals, up 2.1 percent.

Canadian railroads' carloads fell 12.8 percent for the week, while intermodal units rose 2.3 percent compared with the same week a year ago. Mexican railroads' carloads increased 1.9 percent for the week, and intermodal units climbed 8.6 percent.

For the first 46 weeks of this year, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 12,815,842 carloads, down 4.9 percent from the same point last year; and 12,311,269 intermodal units, up 1.9 percent from last year.

Canadian railroads posted cumulative rail traffic volume of 6,328,374 carloads, containers and trailers down 0.9 percent, for the 46-week period. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 46 weeks of 2015 was 1,253,411 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, up 1.5 percent from the same point last year.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/30/2015