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12/30/2003



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR data: Year-to-date carloads flat, intermodal traffic flourishing



With one week to go in 2003, U.S. railroads have moved about the same number of carloads but 6.7 percent more intermodal units compared with a similar 2002 period, according to Association of American Railroads data released Dec. 23. Total volume reached an estimated 1.48 trillion ton-miles, up 1.4 percent compared with 2002's first 51 weeks.

During the week ended Dec. 20, U.S. roads moved 330,999 carloads, down 3.2 percent, and 200,336 trailers and containers, up 9 percent compared with the same 2002 week.

Canadian railroads experienced the opposite last week, moving 12.7 percent more carloads but 7 percent fewer intermodal units compared with 2002's second-to-last week.

Through the year's first 51 weeks, Canadian roads moved 3,225,368 carloads, up 1.2 percent, and 2,137,386 trailers and containers, up 5.3 percent compared with last year.

On a combined cumulative-volume basis through 51 weeks, 15 reporting U.S. and Canadian roads moved 19,904,552 carloads, a 0.2 percent increase, and 11,947,147 trailers and containers, a 6.5 percent rise compared with the same 2002 period.

In Mexico, TFM S.A. de C.V. increased carloads 12.2 percent but moved 0.4 percent fewer intermodal units during the week ended Dec. 20. However, carloads are down 2.6 percent and intermodal volume up 11.2 percent through 2003's first 51 weeks compared with a similar 2002 period.


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