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5/12/2004



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

More evidence of traffic upturn: U.S. roads' weekly carloads reach five-year high, AAR says



During the week ending May 1, U.S. railroads moved 349,093 carloads — the highest weekly total in more than five years, according to the Association of American Railroads.

The roads registered traffic gains in 13 of 19 commodity groups, helping boost carloads 4.4 percent compared with similar 2003 data. During the week, the roads also moved 210,892 trailers and containers, a 6.8 percent increase compared with last year. Total weekly volume reached an estimated 31.8 billion ton-miles, up 6.4 percent.

Through April — or 2004's first 17 weeks — U.S. roads moved 5,658,396 carloads, up 3.3 percent, and 3,417,125 trailers and containers, up 7.9 percent compared with similar 2003 data. Estimated total volume of 509 billion ton-miles rose 4.7 percent.

Canadian roads registered solid weekly traffic figures, too, moving 72,972 carloads and 45,492 intermodal loads, a 10.1 percent and 2.8 percent increase, respectively, compared with last year.

Through 2004's first 17 weeks, the roads moved 1,148,196 carloads, up 7.1 percent, and 689,418 trailers and containers, down 0.3 percent compared with similar 2003 data.

On a combined cumulative-volume basis through 17 weeks, 15 reporting U.S. and Canadian roads moved 6,806,592 carloads and 4,106,543 intermodal loads, a 3.9 percent and 6.4 percent increase, respectively, compared with last year.

For TFM S.A. de C.V., weekly carload totals continue to rebound. During the week ending May 1, TFM moved 8,606 carloads, up 8.3 percent compared with similar 2003 data. However, TFM's weekly intermodal traffic tally of 2,293 trailers and containers dropped 14.7 percent.

During 2004's first 17 weeks, TFM moved 142,174 carloads and 56,097 intermodal loads, a 4.7 percent and 8.2 percent decline, respectively, compared with similar 2003 data.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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