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7/30/2004



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR traffic update: U.S. roads set fifth weekly intermodal volume record in 2004



It only took U.S. railroads five weeks to break yet another intermodal traffic record in 2004. During the week ending July 24, the roads moved 221,202 trailers and containers, breaking the previous record of 220,285 units set during week 24 and increasing volume 12.2 percent compared with similar 2003 data, according to the Association of American Railroads.

The roads also had a good week carload-wise, moving 335,075 units, which represents a 2.1 percent increase compared with last year. Total estimated weekly volume of 30.2 billion ton-miles rose 2.7 percent.

During the year's first 29 weeks, U.S. roads moved 9,675,121 carloads, up 3.6 percent, and 5,951,147 trailers and containers, up 9.3 percent compared with similar 2003 data.

Canadian roads also finished off a strong carload-traffic week. The roads moved 64,585 units, a 6.5 percent increase compared with a similar 2003 week. But weekly intermodal loads totaling 41,588 units dropped 3.9 percent.

That same trend holds true for Canadian roads' traffic through 29 weeks: Carloads totaling 1,941,300 units rose 8.7 percent, but intermodal loads totaling 1,201,374 units dropped 0.1 percent compared with last year.

On a combined cumulative-volume basis through 29 weeks, 15 reporting U.S. and Canadian roads moved 11,616,421 carloads, up 4.4 percent, and 7,152,521 trailers and containers, up 7.6 percent compared with similar 2003 data.

In Mexico, TFM S.A. de C.V. continues to increase carloads of late but intermodal traffic still is stagnating. During the week ending July 24, TFM's carloads totaling 8,496 units rose 5.8 percent, but intermodal loads totaling 3,187 units decreased 8 percent. Through 29 weeks, TFM's 247,326 carloads and 103,393 intermodal loads represent 0.6 percent and 0.9 percent declines, respectively, compared with similar 2003 data.


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