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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S., Canadian railroads register traffic gains in August, AAR says

Driven by a 13.6 percent jump in metal/metal product traffic and 6.3 percent hike in coal moves, U.S. railroads’ August carloads increased 1.1 percent to 1.7 million units compared with August 2005, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

The roads posted another intermodal traffic gain, too. In August, they originated 1.2 million trailers and containers, a 6.2 percent increase compared with the same 2005 period.

During 2006’s first eight months, U.S. railroads originated 11.8 million carloads, up 1.5 percent, and 8.2 million trailers and containers, up 6.4 percent compared with 2005’s first eight months. Total estimated volume of 1.17 trillion ton-miles rose 2.7 percent.

“Led by coal and intermodal, volume overall has significantly outpaced 2005 year to date,” said AAR Vice President Craig Rockey in a prepared statement.

Canadian railroads also registered traffic gains in August. The roads originated 377,903 carloads, up 1.2 percent, and 231,906 intermodal loads, up 5 percent compared with August 2005’s totals. Through eight months, the railroads’ carloads declined 1.2 percent to 2.6 million units, but intermodal loads increased 5.9 percent to 1.6 million units compared with the same 2005 period.

On a combined cumulative-volume basis through 35 weeks, 13 reporting U.S. and Canadian railroads originated 14.4 million carloads, up 1 percent, and 9.8 million intermodal loads, up 6.3 percent compared with 2005’s first 35 weeks.

Meanwhile, Kansas City Southern de México S.A. de C.V.’s August carloads totaled 56,513 units, down 0.8 percent, and intermodal units carried totaled 20,979 units, up 2.5 percent compared with August 2005. Through eight months, the railroads’ total carloads decreased 4.7 percent and total intermodal units carried declined 5.5 percent compared with 2005’s first eight months.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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