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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. railroads post 4.6 percent traffic gain in Week 18

U.S. railroads logged 515,305 carloads and intermodal units for the week ending May 6, a 4.6 percent increased compared with the same week last year, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

Total carloads for the week were 251,182 units, up 8 percent, and 264,123 intermodal containers and trailers, up 1.6 percent compared with the year-ago period.

Six of the 10 carload commodity groups followed weekly by AAR posted increases compared with the same week in 2016. They included grain, up 22.2 percent to 21,848 carloads; coal, up 17.7 percent to 73,386 carloads; and metallic ores and metals, up 15.6 percent to 23,743 carloads.

Commodity groups that reflected decreases during the week compared with last year included petroleum and petroleum products, down 18.5 percent to 9,247 carloads; motor vehicles and parts, down 6.4 percent to 17,160 carloads; and food and farm products excluding grain, down 1.3 percent to 15,723 carloads.

Canadian railroads moved 81,374 carloads for the week, up 23 percent, and 67,137 intermodal units, up 12.2 percent compared with the same week in 2016. Mexican railroads reported 14,007 carloads for the week, down 11.8 percent compared with the same week last year, and 9,561 intermodal units, down 13.7 percent compared with last year.

For the first 18 weeks of this year, U.S. railroads' total combined traffic was 9,302,388 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 4 percent compared to last year. Cumulative carload volume rose 6.4 percent to 4,598,584 units, while cumulative intermodal volume climbed 1.6 percent to 4,703,804 containers and trailers.

Canadian railroads' cumulative volume during the 18-week period increased 10.2 percent to 2,552,063 carloads, containers and trailers compared with last year. Mexican railroads' cumulative volume during the period slipped 2.2 percent to 470,578 carloads and intermodal units compared with the first 18 weeks of 2016.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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