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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR traffic update: Weekly carloads a bit weak for U.S. and Canadian roads, TFM

After running on all cylinders for most of 2005, U.S. railroads hit a speed bump. During the week ending May 14, the roads’ carload traffic dropped on a year-over-year basis for the first time since the week of March 26, which included the Good Friday holiday. U.S. roads’ carloads totaling 341,509 units dipped 1.7 percent compared with the same 2004 week, according to Association of American Railroads data.

In the good news department, the roads’ weekly intermodal traffic totaling 223,581 containers and trailers rose 6.3 percent compared with the same 2004 period.

During 2005’s first 19 weeks, U.S. roads moved 6,491,776 carloads, up 2.4 percent, and 4,112,794 containers and trailers, up 7.2 percent compared with last year. Total estimated volume of 604.1 billion ton-miles rose 3.2 percent.

For Canadian railroads, the week of May 14 ended with both sides of their traffic ledger in the red. Carloads totaling 70,985 units and intermodal loads totaling 43,721 decreased 0.9 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively, compared with the same 2004 week.

Through 19 weeks, Canadian roads boosted carloads 0.4 percent to 1,335,047 units and increased intermodal loads 3.3 percent to 800,771 units compared with last year.

On a combined cumulative-volume basis through 19 weeks, 15 reporting U.S. and Canadian roads moved 7,826,823 carloads, up 2 percent, and 4,913,565 trailers and containers, up 6.5 percent compared with a similar 2004 period.

In Mexico, TFM S.A. de C.V. had mixed results during the week ending May 14. Carloads totaling 8,321 units dropped 11.2 percent, but intermodal loads totaling 3,630 units increased 2.3 percent compared with the same 2004 week. Through 19 weeks, TFM boosted carloads 2.4 percent to 164,227 units and increased intermodal loads 9.4 percent to 72,209 units compared with last year.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/20/2005