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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR's April traffic tallies: U.S. roads and TFM make the grade, Canadian roads rate a passing mark

The April traffic scorecards are in at the Association of American Railroads (AAR), and for U.S. railroads, it’s a good one. Last month, U.S. roads moved 1,396,037 carloads, up 2.5 percent, and 885,285 containers and trailers, up 6.4 percent compared with April 2004.

“U.S. carload traffic has shown year-over-year monthly increases in 18 of the past 20 months, while intermodal traffic has risen in all 20 months,” said AAR Vice President Craig Rockey in a prepared statement.

During 2005’s first four months, U.S. railroads boosted carloads 2.5 percent to 5,799,589 units and increased intermodal loads 7.3 percent to 3,666,539 units compared with the same 2004 period. Total estimated volume of 539.7 billion ton-miles rose 3.4 percent.

Canadian railroads had a so-so month. During April, their intermodal loads rose 1 percent to 174,972 units, but carloads fell 1.7 percent to 287,422 units compared with April 2004. Through 17 weeks, Canadian roads moved 1,193,598 carloads, down 0.8 percent, and 713,656 intermodal loads, up 4.0 percent compared with 2004’s first four months.

On a combined cumulative-volume basis through 17 weeks, 15 reporting U.S. and Canadian roads boosted carloads 2.2 percent to 6,993,187 units and increased intermodal loads 6.7 percent to 4,380,195 units compared with last year.

In Mexico, TFM S.A. de C.V. registered a solid month. During April, TFM’s carloads and intermodal loads rose 3.2 percent to 36,418 units and 28.5 percent to 17,227 units, respectively, compared with April 2004. Through 17 weeks, TFM moved 147,278 carloads, up 3.5 percent, and 64,540 intermodal loads, up 9.8 percent compared with the same 2004 period.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/6/2005