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3/29/2001



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. railroads' carload freight figures improving but still playing catch-up to 2000


Through 11 weeks, carload freight on U.S. railroads has picked up slightly in 2001, but still trails 2000 figures, according to Association of American Railroads data.
U.S. rails reported 3,596,488 cars through the week ending March 17, a 2.1 percent drop compared with the same period in 2000. Intermodal volume of 1,823,394 trailers and containers also was down by the same 2.1 percent margin, with total volume of 304.6 billion ton-miles representing a 1 percent decrease compared with 2000’s first 11 weeks.
Commodities holding promise for U.S. roads are coal, which for the week of March 17 rose 8.7 percent — to 11,314 cars — compared with the same week in 2000, and farm products other than grain, which were up 19.4 percent.
For Canadian railroads, 2001 so far has been an up-and-down tale. Through March 17, the rails reported 375,635 trailers and containers — a 3.2 percent increase compared with 2000’s first 11 weeks — although standard traffic dipped 3.3 percent to 692,736 carloads.
Cumulatively, U.S. and Canadian railroads’ 2001 carload freight and intermodal figures still are below last year’s pace, says AAR.
Through 11 weeks, 16 reporting U.S. and Canadian rails hauled 4,289,224 carloads, a 2.3 percent drop, and 2,199,029 trailers and containers, a 1.3 percent decrease, compared with 2000’s same period.


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