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AAR: U.S. rail traffic down 1.2 percent so far this year


For the week ending Oct. 17, U.S. rail traffic patterns continued to follow a familiar trend: Total carload volume was 279,547 carloads, down 5.9 percent, while intermodal volume was 275,149 containers and trailers, up 1 percent compared with the same week in 2014, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

Total U.S. traffic for the week was 554,696 carloads and intermodal units, down 2.6 percent compared with the same week last year.

Commodity groups that posted decreases during the week included metallic ores and metals, down 20.9 percent to 21,486 carloads; petroleum and petroleum products, down 14 percent to 13,772 carloads; and coal, down 13.4 percent to 95,822 carloads.

Those groups that logged increases included: grain, up 16.7 percent to 25,372 carloads; miscellaneous carloads, up 15.1 percent to 9,223; and motor vehicles and parts, up 13.2 percent to 18,894.

Canadian railroads reported carload traffic decreased 15.4 percent to 72,929 carloads, while intermodal units rose 6 percent to 58,859 units during the week.

Mexican railroads’ carload and intermodal traffic was down during the week: carload traffic volume plunged 20 percent to 16,245 carloads, while intermodal units fell 5.4 percent to 13,067 units.

For the first 41 weeks of the year, U.S. railroads posted total traffic volume of 22,408,882 carloads and intermodal units, a decrease of 1.2 percent compared to the same period a year ago.

Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume during the 41-week period of 5,648,347 carloads, containers and trailers, down 0.4 percent. Mexican railroads logged cumulative volume of 1,122,698 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, up 2 percent from the same 41-week period last year.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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