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9/25/2006



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. railroads break weekly intermodal volume record for third time in 2006, AAR says



The way U.S. railroads are increasing intermodal traffic these days, their latest weekly volume record isn’t likely to stand much longer than the last one.

During the week ending Sept. 16, U.S. roads originated 257,526 trailers and containers, breaking a record of 253,168 units set two weeks ago and besting volume in the same 2005 week by 5.2 percent, according to the Association of American Railroads. It was the third time this year the roads set a new record.

However, U.S. railroads’ weekly carloads declined 1.2 percent to 345,676 units compared with 2005’s 37th week — the year’s highest-volume week.

During 2006’s first 37 weeks, the roads originated 12.5 million carloads, up 1.3 percent, and 8.7 million trailers and containers, up 6.4 percent compared with similar 2005 data. Total estimated volume of 1.24 trillion ton-miles rose 2.6 percent.

Canadian railroads had the same up-and-down week. Intermodal loads totaling 47,841 units increased 2.6 percent but originated carloads totaling 77,382 units dropped 1.7 percent compared with traffic in 2005’s 37th week. Through 37 weeks, the roads originated 2.7 million carloads, down 1.1 percent, and 1.7 million trailers and containers, up 5.8 percent compared with similar 2005 data.

On a combined cumulative-volume basis through 37 weeks, 13 reporting U.S. and Canadian railroads originated 15.2 million carloads, up 0.9 percent, and 10.4 million trailers and containers, up 6.3 percent compared with the same 2005 period.

In Mexico, Kansas City Southern de México S.A. de C.V. boosted traffic overall during the week ending Sept. 16. Total carloads of 12,037 units rose 4.5 percent and total intermodal loads of 4,339 units jumped 21.9 percent compared with similar 2005 data. Through 37 weeks, the railroad’s carloads totaled 418,713 units, down 4.2 percent, and intermodal loads totaled 146,075 units, down 4.2 percent compared with the same 2005 period.


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