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Rail News Home Rail Industry Trends

2/13/2009



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR: U.S., Canadian roads' traffic remains down in February's first week


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U.S. railroads’ traffic report for February’s first week isn’t showing any signs of a turnaround. During the week ending Feb. 7, their carloads totaling 265,143 units plunged 16.1 percent and intermodal volume totaling 191,511 units plummeted 15 percent compared with totals from 2008’s fifth week, according to the Association of American Railroads.

Through the year’s first five weeks, U.S. railroads originated 1.3 million carloads, down 16.7 percent, and 979,626 containers and trailers, down 13.3 percent compared with totals from the same 2008 period. Total volume dropped 15.6 percent to an estimated 141.5 billion ton-miles.

Canadian railroads had a tough week, too. During the week ending Feb. 7, their carloads fell 15.1 percent to 63,517 units and intermodal volume declined 7.6 percent to 42,713 units compared with last year. Through five weeks, Canadian roads originated 306,548 carloads, down 18.1 percent, and 211,289 intermodal loads, down 11.3 percent year over year.

Meanwhile, Mexico’s two largest railroads fared slightly better. During the week ending Feb. 7, their carloads totaling 10,475 units dropped only 5.9 percent and intermodal volume totaling 4,773 units dropped only 4.8 percent vs. last year’s totals. However, through five weeks, their carloads totaling 52,630 units remained down 13.6 percent and intermodal volume totaling 22,724 units remained down 20.4 percent.

Combined North American volume data through five weeks shows 14 reporting railroads originated 1.7 million carloads, down 16.9 percent, and 1.2 million containers and trailers, down 13.1 percent compared withy totals from the same 2008 period.


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