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U.S. railroads capped off a strong traffic-building month by boosting carloads and intermodal units in the week ending Jan. 31. Their carloads climbed 10.2 percent to 298,568 units and intermodal volume increased 1.1 percent to 249,910 containers and trailers compared with traffic figures from the same week last year, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).In January, U.S. roads registered 1,160,842 carloads, up 5.6 percent, and 1,005,067 intermodal loads, up 0.9 percent compared with January 2014 figures. Carloads averaged 290,211 per week, the most for a January since 2008, and intermodal volume averaged 251,267 units per week, the highest-ever weekly average in January, AAR officials said in a press release.Combined U.S. traffic in January rose 3.4 percent year over year to 2,165,909 units. The combined weekly average of 541,477 units was the second-highest on record, trailing only January 2006.Excluding coal, U.S. carloads grew 6.4 percent in January, and excluding coal and grain, carloads increased 5.8 percent."January was a good start to the year for U.S. railroads, helped by the fact that the winter so far this year hasn’t been nearly as bad as it was last year," said AAR Senior Vice President John Gray in a press release.Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 549,748 carloads, containers and trailers through 2015’s first four weeks, up 12.7 percent compared with volume from the same 2014 period. Mexican railroads’ cumulative volume rose 1.6 percent to 106,408 units.Through four weeks, 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads handled 393,756 carloads, up 10.4 percent, and 322,135 intermodal units, up 6 percent compared with volumes from the same 2014 period.