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12/9/2002



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

RailAmerica cranks up carloads in November


Last month, RailAmerica Inc. increased carloads (including intermodal units) 20.3 percent and "same railroad" carloads (excluding former StatesRail and ParkSierra Rail Group roads) 1.4 percent compared with November 2001.


That's welcome news for the short-line holding company, which last week announced plans to cut 145 jobs and implement several cost-saving initiatives because of a soft U.S. economy and a drought-plagued Australian grain market.


In North America, RailAmerica moved 29.1 percent more total carloads and 3.5 percent more same railroad carloads in November compared with the same 2001 period. Strong coal, petroleum, metal, automotive and chemical traffic partially offset fewer intermodal and Canadian-grain moves, according to a prepared statement.


Through the year's first 11 months, RailAmerica's total North American carloads increased 24.5 percent while same railroad carloads declined less than 1 percent compared with last year.


November traffic figures weren't as promising for the company's Chilean and Australian roads. International carloads dropped 4.4 percent, mostly because the Australian drought reduced RailAmerica's grain moves.


Chilean carloads rose 11.9 percent while Australian carloads dropped 14.6 percent.


Year-to-date, RailAmerica's international carloads decreased 2.3 percent compared with the same 2001 period as strong Chilean copper traffic offset weak Australian grain moves.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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