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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Rail traffic gains continue for U.S., Canadian roads in Week 28

U.S. railroads moved 540,005 carloads and intermodal units during the week ending July 15, a 3.8 percent increase compared with the same week last year, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported yesterday.

Total carloads for the week added up to 262,869 units, a slight increase of 0.3 percent compared with the same week in 2016. U.S. railroads' intermodal volume rose 7.4 percent to 277,136 containers and trailers compared to a year ago.

Five of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR tracks on a weekly basis posted increases compared with the same week a year ago. Those groups included nonmetallic minerals, up 14.3 percent to 40,764 carloads; farm products (excluding grain) and food, up 4.1 percent to 16,567 carloads; and forest products, up 3.2 percent to 10,205 carloads.

Commodity groups that posted decreases during the week included petroleum and petroleum products, down 16.8 percent to 9,337 carloads; motor vehicles and parts, down 12.5 percent to 12,299 carloads; and grain, down 10.9 percent to 22,802 carloads.

Canadian railroads reported 75,047 carloads for the week, up 10.7 percent, and 67,033 intermodal units, up 13.7 percent compared with the same week in 2016. Mexican railroads transported 16,324 carloads for the week, down 0.9 percent compared with the same week last year, and 11,789 intermodal units, up 7 percent.

For the first 28 weeks of 2017 compared with a year ago, U.S. railroads' cumulative volume rose 4.4 percent to 14,585,211 carloads and intermodal units; Canadian railroads' cumulative volume jumped 11.6 percent to 3,985,562 carloads, containers and trailers; and Mexican railroads' cumulative volume slipped 1.4 percent to 754,885 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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