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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Transportation Services Index slipped a bit in June

The Transportation Services Index (TSI) in June totaled 114.9, down 0.2 percent from May's count but up 1.7 percent from June 2012's level, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS).

June's Freight TSI of 113.8 also declined 0.2 percent on a month-over-month basis and climbed 1.8 percent on a year-over-year basis. The monthly drop in the measure of output from for-hire rail, trucking, inland waterway, pipelines and air freight firms primarily was caused by a decline in rail carloads and pipeline shipments, BTS officials said in a press release.

"Coal and grain were the weakest commodities for rail carloads," they said. "Trucking, rail intermodal (which is a separate measure from rail carloads) and water were stable, while air freight grew."

Despite the June decrease, the Freight TSI remained above its 2012 range for the sixth straight month, BTS officials said.

June's Passenger TSI of 117.5 inched up 0.1 percent from May's level and rose 1.4 percent from June 2012's count. The index measures month-to-month changes in travel services provided by for-hire intercity rail, local transit and airline companies.

In the second quarter, the TSI ratcheted up 0.2 percent, Freight TSI dipped 0.1 percent and Passenger TSI rose 1 percent compared with first-quarter levels. The Freight TSI posted its first quarterly decline since third-quarter 2012, BTS officials said.

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