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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. rail traffic up slightly in Week 12


U.S. railroads posted a 1.4 percent increase in traffic for the week ending March 24 compared with the same week last year, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

Total carloads for the week rose 2.5 percent to 265,756 units, while total intermodal volume inched up 0.3 percent to 260,765 containers and trailers compared with volumes in the same week in 2017.

Six of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR follows every week posted year-over-year increases. They included coal, up 7,979 carloads to 87,348; chemicals, up 1,756 carloads to 33,788; and nonmetallic minerals, up 667 carloads to 35,776.

Commodity groups that logged decreases for the week compared to a year ago included motor vehicles and parts, down 1,717 carloads to 16,675; miscellaneous carloads, down 1,504 carloads to 9,417; and petroleum and petroleum products, down 697 carloads to 9,889.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported carloads climbed 3 percent to 82,618 units during the week compared with a year ago, while intermodal volume jumped 13.5 percent to 70,986 containers and trailers. Mexican railroads posted 21,345 carloads for the week, down 0.03 percent compared with the same week last year, and 16,023 intermodal units, down 8.3 percent.

For the first 12 weeks of 2018 compared with the same period a year ago:
• U.S. railroads logged combined traffic of 6,257,829 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 2.6 percent;
• Canadian railroads posted cumulative traffic of 1,712,693 carloads, containers and trailers, up 2.4 percent; and
• Mexican railroads reported 459,104 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 0.8 percent.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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