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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR traffic figures: Intermodal still primary driver, but carloads not taking a back seat for U.S., Canadian roads

During the week ending Feb. 7, U.S. railroads' intermodal traffic continued to rise but carloads dropped. Roads moved 198,977 trailers and containers, up 7.2 percent, and 307,449 carloads, down 4.1 percent compared with the same 2003 period, according to Association of American Railroads data.

During 2004's first five weeks, U.S. roads moved 980,712 trailers and containers, up 5.8 percent, and 1,613,117 carloads, up 1.2 percent compared with a similar 2003 period. Estimated total volume of 144 billion ton-miles rose 2.3 percent.

It was an up and down week for Canadian railroads, too. Intermodal traffic totaled 40,766 trailers and containers, up 1.8 percent, but carloads numbered 59,371, down 5.4 percent compared with the same 2003 period.

During the year's first five weeks, it's been an opposite roller coaster: Canadian roads moved 196,455 trailers and containers, down 1.3 percent, and 310,512 carloads, up 1.4 percent compared with last year.

On a combined cumulative-volume basis through five weeks, 15 reporting U.S. and Canadian roads moved 1,923,629 carloads, up 1.2 percent, and 1,177,167 trailers and containers, up 4.5 percent compared with 2003's first five weeks.

In Mexico, TFM S.A. de C.V. moved 7,557 carloads and 3,119 intermodal units the week of Feb. 7, up 0.5 percent and down 9.9 percent, respectively, compared with the same 2003 week. During the year's first five weeks, TFM moved 39,422 carloads, down 8.4 percent, and 14,925 trailers and containers, down 18.6 percent compared with a similar 2003 period.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/16/2004