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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR: Rail volume made more positive strides in Week 49

For the week ending Dec. 9, U.S. railroads registered 560,756 carloads and intermodal units, up 4 percent compared with volume in the same week last year, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

Their carloads increased 3.4 percent to 267,963 units and intermodal volume rose 4.6 percent to 292,793 containers and trailers.

Seven of the 10 carload commodity groups tracked by the AAR posted gains in the week, including nonmetallic minerals, up 3,011 units; chemicals, up 2,470 units; and metallic ores and metals, up 2,311 units. The commodity groups that registered declines were motor vehicles and parts (down 1,492 carloads), grain (down 725 carloads) and miscellaneous traffic (down 400 carloads).

Through 2017's first 49 weeks, U.S. railroads reported 12,747,921 carloads, up 3 percent, and 13,238,662 intermodal units, up 3.8 percent compared with figures from the same 2016 period. Total combined U.S. traffic through 49 weeks rose 3.4 percent to 25,986,583 units.

For the week ending Dec. 9, Canadian railroads reported 81,745 carloads, up 10.3 percent, and 69,967 intermodal units, up 16.7 percent year over year. Through 49 weeks, their cumulative traffic climbed 10.7 percent to 7,157,230 units.

For Mexican railroads, AAR data shows their carloads rose 9.4 percent to 16,921 units and their intermodal volume increased 3 percent on a year-over-year basis in the week ending Dec. 9. Their cumulative 49-week total of 1,350,752 carloads and intermodal units ratcheted up 1.6 percent.

Through 49 weeks, 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads tallied 34,494,565 carloads and intermodal units, up 4.7 percent compared with the same 2016 period.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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