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10/28/2005



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Record busters: U.S. railroads register more than 250,000 intermodal loads in a week, AAR says



For U.S. railroads, chalk up another first in the intermodal traffic category. During the week ending Oct. 22, the railroads surpassed 250,000 intermodal loads in a single week for the first time ever, according to the Association of American Railroads. The record 250,152 trailers and containers broke the high-water mark of 249,664 units set one week earlier.

U.S. railroads also moved their fifth-most weekly carloads in 2005. During the week ending Oct. 22, the roads’ carloads totaled 344,595 units, up 0.5 percent compared with the same 2004 week.

During 2005’s first 42 weeks, U.S. railroads moved 13.99 million carloads, up 1.1 percent, and 9.4 million trailers and containers, up 6.4 percent compared with the same 2004 period. Total estimated volume of 1.36 trillion ton-miles rose 2.6 percent.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads’ carload traffic continued to head south. During the week ending Oct. 22, the railroads moved 80,064 carloads, down 1.7 percent compared with the same 2004 week. However, intermodal loads totaling 48,014 units rose 4.1 percent.

Through 42 weeks, Canadian railroads’ carloads and intermodal loads totaled 3.2 million units and 1.8 million units, respectively, down 0.8 percent and up 3 percent compared with 2005’s first 42 weeks.

On a combined cumulative-volume basis through 42 weeks, reporting U.S. and Canadian railroads moved 17.2 million carloads, up 0.8 percent, and 11.2 million trailers and containers, up 5.8 percent compared with the same 2004 period.

In Mexico, TFM S.A. de C.V.’s traffic continued to tumble. During the week ending Oct. 22, the railroad’s carloads and intermodal loads totaled 7,692 units and 4,188 units, respectively, down 12.9 percent and 10.9 percent compared with the same 2004 week. Through 42 weeks, TFM moved 352,024 carloads, down 3.5 percent, and 161,338 trailers and containers, up 2.8 percent compared with 2004’s first 42 weeks.


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