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Rail News Home Rail Industry Trends

9/30/2005



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Hurricanes not hurting U.S. roads' traffic, AAR says



Not even the effects of two major hurricanes have slowed U.S. railroads’ weekly traffic gains. During the week ending Sept. 24 — the day Hurricane Rita came ashore — the roads moved 335,932 carloads, up 0.5 percent, and 241,116 intermodal loads, up 4.4 percent compared with the same 2004 week, according to Association of American Railroads data.

However, hurricanes Katrina and Rita have impacted weekly chemical and petroleum product moves, which dropped 9.4 percent and 10.9 percent, respectively, compared with 2004’s 38th week.

During 2005’s first 38 weeks, U.S. roads’ carloads totaling 12.6 million units rose 1.5 percent and intermodal loads totaling 8.4 million units increased 6.2 percent compared with the same 2004 period. Total estimated volume of 1.22 trillion ton-miles rose 2.3 percent.

Canadian railroads also posted strong weekly traffic figures. During the week ending Sept. 24, the roads boosted carloads 2.5 percent to 78,511 units and increased intermodal loads 2.5 percent to 46,056 units compared with the same 2004 week.

Through 38 weeks, Canadian roads’ carloads totaling 2.9 million units dropped 0.3 percent and intermodal loads totaling 1.6 million units rose 2.9 percent compared with the same 2004 period.

On a combined cumulative-volume basis through 38 weeks, reporting U.S. and Canadian roads moved 15.5 million carloads, up 1.1 percent, and 10 million trailers and containers, up 5.7 percent compared with 2004’s first 38 weeks.

In Mexico, TFM S.A. de C.V. remained mired in a carload slump. During the week ending Sept. 24, the road’s carloads totaling 7,881 units dropped 10.7 percent compared with the same 2004 week. TFM’s trailer and container traffic also declined, falling 6.8 percent to 4,031 units. Through 38 weeks, TFM moved 320,282 carloads, down 2.1 percent, and 145,156 trailers and containers, up 4.2 percent compared with the same 2004 period.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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