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AAR: U.S. traffic volume tumbled in week 37


After registering gains for most weeks in 2017, total U.S. rail traffic declined in the year's 37th week.

Traffic clocked in at 530,774 carloads and intermodal units for the week ending Sept. 16, down 1.4 percent compared with total volume from the same week last year, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

For the week, U.S. carloads totaled 260,771 units, down 3.6 percent, and intermodal volume totaled 270,003 containers and trailers, up 0.9 percent.

Only one of the 10 carload commodity groups tracked by the AAR each week posted a year-over-year gain: metallic ores and metals, which increased by 3,292 units to 24,696. The decliners included petroleum and petroleum products (down 2,552 carloads to 9,083) and motor vehicles and parts (down 2,063 carloads to 16,605).

Through 2017's first 37 weeks, U.S. railroads reported 9,570,798 carloads, up 4.1 percent, and 9,860,655 intermodal units, up 3.4 percent compared with figures from the same 2016 period. Total combined U.S. traffic rose 3.7 percent to 19,431,453 carloads and intermodal units.

For the week ending Sept. 16, Canadian railroads reported 86,678 carloads, up 11.9 percent year over year, and 72,269 intermodal units, up 17.5 percent and an all-time weekly record. Mexican railroads reported 15,058 carloads, up 2.9 percent, and 11,180 intermodal loads, up 7.6 percent.

Through 37 weeks, Canadian railroads' total traffic climbed 11.6 percent to 5,325,540 units and Mexican railroads' total volume ratcheted up 0.7 percent to 1,004,005 units. Total traffic through 37 weeks for 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads reached 25,760,998 units, up 5.1 percent compared with the same 2016 period.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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