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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. rail traffic surged 4.4 percent in Week 10

U.S. railroads moved 510,638 carloads and intermodal units, up 4.4 percent, for the week ending March 11 compared with the same week a year ago, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported yesterday.

For 2017's 10th week, U.S. railroads' logged 253,664 carloads, a 4.3 percent increase, and 256,974 intermodal containers and trailers, a 4.5 percent increase, compared with the 2016's 10th week.

Five of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR follows on a weekly basis reflected increases for the week. They included coal, which surged 11.9 percent to 79,646 carloads; grain, which climbed 10.9 percent to 24,248 carloads; and nonmetallic minerals, which rose 10.3 percent to 35,069 carloads.

Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2016 included petroleum and petroleum products, down 15.6 percent to 9,344 carloads; motor vehicles and parts, down 8.5 percent to 18,390 carloads; and forest products, down 5.1 percent to 9,789 carloads.

Canadian railroads transported 77,024 carloads, up 9 percent, and 57,958 intermodal units, up 3 percent compared with traffic a year ago. Mexican railroads moved 16,367 carloads for the week, up 8.9 percent compared with the same week last year, and 9,683 intermodal units, down 4.1 percent.

For the first 10 weeks of this year, U.S. railroads posted cumulative volume of 2,557,020 carloads, up 4.9 percent from the same point last year; and 2,605,345 intermodal units, up 0.2 percent from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the period was 5,162,365 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 2.5 percent compared to last year.

Canadian railroads' cumulative volume during the 10-week period rose 7.5 percent to 1,389,691 carloads, containers and trailers. Mexican railroads' cumulative volume fell 5.2 percent to 256,319 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers compared with the same period a year ago.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/16/2017