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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR: Rail traffic down in U.S., up in Canada and Mexico for Week No. 14

U.S. rail traffic continued its recent slide, with railroads reporting 557,812 carloads and intermodal units for the week ending April 11, which represented a 0.3 percent decrease compared with the same week a year ago, the Association of American Railroads reported yesterday.

Total U.S. carloads for the week were 287,349, down 2.6 percent, while weekly intermodal volume was 270,563 containers and trailers, up 2.3 percent compared with the same period in 2014.

While total volume was down, however, six of 10 carload commodity groups posted increases during the period. They were: grain, up 13.9 percent to 23,741 carloads; petroleum and petroleum products, up 5.5 percent to 15,317 carloads; and chemicals, up 2 percent to 31,342 carloads.

Among commodity groups that saw decreases was coal, which fell 8.2 percent to 105,691 carloads.

For the first 14 weeks of 2015, U.S. railroads posted cumulative volume of 3,932,325 carloads, down 0.4 percent, and 3,560,188 intermodal units, up 0.5 percent compared with the same point in 2014.

In Canada, traffic picked up during the week. Canadian railroads reported 80,782 carloads, a 2.4 percent increase, while intermodal units rose 5.1 percent to 61,964 units compared with the same week in 2014. For the first 14 weeks of 2015, Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 1,909,559 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, up 7.6 percent.

Mexican railroads also experienced higher traffic volume during the period. For Week No. 14, carloads increased 6.2 percent to 16,806, while intermodal units rose 1.7 percent to 10,077 compared with the year-ago period. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 14 weeks of 2015 was 368,860 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, a 2.2 percent compared with last year's numbers.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/16/2015