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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. rail traffic rose 6.3 percent in Week 40


U.S. railroads posted a 6.3 percent increase in carload and intermodal traffic for the week ending Oct. 7 compared with the same week a year ago, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

Total carloads for the week rose 2 percent to 269,336 units, while intermodal volume soared 10.8 percent to 285,490 containers and trailers compared with last year's data, according to an AAR press release.

Seven of the 10 commodity groups that AAR tracks weekly logged increases compared with the same period in 2016. They included nonmetallic minerals, up 5,064 carloads to 40,402; chemicals, up 3,006 carloads to 31,190; and metallic ores and metals, up 1,680 carloads to 21,299.

Commodity groups that posted decreases during the week versus a year ago were coal, down 2,681 carloads, to 87,521; grain, down 2,111 carloads, to 24,741; and motor vehicles and parts, down 1,747 carloads to 17,194.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported carload activity rose 2.7 percent to 82,819 units during the week, while intermodal activity jumped 16.5 percent to 71,937 units compared with a year ago. Mexican railroads posted 15,280 carloads for the week, up 0.9 percent, and 13,612 intermodal units, up 3.2 percent over last year. 

For the first 40 weeks of 2017, U.S. railroads reported total combined traffic of 21,094,038 carloads and intermodal units, up 3.7 percent; Canadian railroads logged 5,794,428 carloads, containers and trailers, up 11.3 percent; and Mexican railroads posted 1,090,924 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, up 0.6 percent compared with the same period in 2016.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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