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U.S. railroads report intermodal traffic surge for Week 38


U.S. railroads moved 548,204 carloads and intermodal units for the week ending Sept. 23, a 1.6 percent increase compared with the same week last year, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported yesterday.

Total carloads for the week declined 2 percent to 263,200 units, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume surged 5.1 percent to 285,004 containers and trailers.

U.S. rail traffic for the week set a new record for intermodal traffic in both the United States and Canada, AAR officials said in a press release.

Five of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR follows every week posted an increase compared with the same period a year ago. They included nonmetallic minerals, up 3,166 carloads to 40,718; metallic ores and metals, up 2,528 carloads to 25,392; and chemicals, up 487 carloads to 30,669.

Commodity groups that logged decreases included grain, grain, down 5,517 carloads, to 19,612; coal, down 3,120 carloads, to 84,389; and petroleum and petroleum products, down 1,189 carloads, to 9,188.

For the first 38 weeks of 2017, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 9,833,998 carloads, up 4 percent from the same point last year; and 10,145,659 intermodal units, up 3.4 percent from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the period clocked in at 19,979,657 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 3.7 percent compared with the same period in 2016.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads moved 81,470 carloads for the week, up 1.2 percent, and 73,056 intermodal units, up 18.2 percent compared with the same week in 2016. For the 38-week period, Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 5,480,066 carloads, containers and trailers, up 11.5 percent compared with a year ago.

Mexican railroads' carload volume in the 38th week slipped 0.6 percent to 15,671 units, while intermodal fell 2.6 percent to 12,842 containers and trailers compared with the same week last year. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 38 weeks of 2017 was 1,032,518 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, up 0.6 percent from the same point in 2016.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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