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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. rail traffic numbers fall during Week 44

U.S. railroads logged 539,165 carloads and intermodal units for the week ending Nov. 7, down 5.2 percent compared with the same week last year, and marking another week in which traffic declined in both carload and intermodal categories, according to data from the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

Total carloads for the week declined 8.7 percent to 272,063 carloads, while total intermodal volume slipped 1.5 percent to 267,102 containers and trailers compared with the same week in 2014.

Carload commodity groups that posted decreases included petroleum and petroleum products, down 19.7 percent to 12,999 carloads; metallic ores and metals, down 18 percent to 20,574 carloads; and coal, down 16 percent to 94,974 carloads. Four of 10 commodity groups posted an increase, including miscellaneous carloads, up 24.1 percent to 9,862; motor vehicles and parts, up 6 percent to 17,877; and grain, up 5.2 percent to 23,428 carloads.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported 76,795 carloads for the week, down 10.7 percent, and 59,914 intermodal units, up 10 percent compared with the same week in 2014. Mexican railroads logged increases in both categories: Carloads rose 0.9 percent to 14,264; and intermodal rose 0.6 percent to 10,463 units for the week.

For the first 44 weeks of 2015, total combined U.S. traffic was was 24,050,898 carloads and intermodal units, a decrease of 1.5 percent compared to last year. Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 6,062,098 carloads, containers and trailers, down 0.7 percent for the 44-week period. Mexican railroads posted cumulative volume of 1,200,137 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, up 1.5 percent from the same 44-week period last year.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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