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8/12/2004



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR report: Rail traffic up in U.S., Canada, Mexico




Rail traffic continues to climb. During the week ended Aug. 7, U.S. railroads’ intermodal volume totaled 213,677 trailers and containers, up 10.2 percent compared with similar 2003 data, according to an Association of American Railroads’ weekly traffic report.

Carloads totaled 33,796 units, up 1.5 percent compared with the same period last year, and total volume was estimated at 30.3 billion ton-miles, up 3.4 percent.

Eleven of 19 carload commodity groups increased, compared with a comparable week last year, with nonmetallic minerals rising 16.0 percent; coke, 14.6 percent; metals, 11.8 percent; and lumber, 11.2 percent. However, grain carloads were down 6.1 percent and other farm products, 25.3 percent.

Through 2004’s first 31 weeks, U.S. carloads of 10,353,482 are up 3.5 percent compared with last year; intermodal volume of 6,386,073 trailers or containers was up 9.4 percent; and total volume of 935 billion ton-miles was up 4.8 percent.

Canadian rail traffic also continues to rise. During the week ended Aug. 7, carload traffic totaled 61,189 cars, up 11.5 percent compared with the same period last year, But, intermodal volume totaled 41,172 trailers and containers, down 1.0 percent.

Year-to-date, reporting Canadian roads have carried 2,067,953 carloads, up 8.8 percent, and 1,283,896 trailers and containers, down 0.3 percent compared with the same 2003 period.

Combined cumulative volume for 15 reporting U.S. and Canadian roads through 2004’s first 31 weeks totaled 12,241,435 carloads, up 4.4 percent compared with the same period last year, and 7,669,969 trailers and containers, up 7.6 percent.

Meanwhile, Transportacion Ferroviaria Mexicana (TFM) has stopped its downward traffic spiral. For the week ended Aug. 7, carloads totaled 8,803 cars, up 15.3 percent compared with similar 2003 data, and intermodal volume of 3,771 trailers or containers was up 16.4 percent. For the first 31 weeks of the year, TFM reported cumulative originated volumes of 264,016 cars, down 0.4 percent from the same 2003 period, and 110,761 trailers or containers, about the same as the same period last year.




Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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