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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. rail traffic continues upward trend in Week 36


U.S. railroads moved 502,208 carloads and intermodal units — up 4.1 percent — in the week ending Sept. 8 compared with rail traffic during the same week a year ago, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

Total carloads for the week increased 2.6 percent to 253,293 units over last year, while intermodal volume rose 5.8 percent to 248,915 containers and trailers, according to an AAR press release.

Nine of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR tracks each week posted increases compared with the same week in 2017. They included petroleum and petroleum products, up 3,724 carloads to 11,649; grain, up 2,657 carloads to 20,019; and nonmetallic minerals, up 2,419 carloads to 35,209.

Coal traffic, the only commodity to log a decrease during the week, fell 6,877 carloads to 85,466 units compared with last year's volume.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported 82,541 carloads for the week, up 3.9 percent, and 65,354 intermodal units, up 4.1 percent compared with the same week in 2017. Mexican railroads reported 21,165 carloads for the week, down 2 percent compared with the same week last year, and 19,570 intermodal units, up 27.2 percent.

For the first 36 weeks of 2018:
• U.S. railroads reported 19,388,560 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 4 percent compared to last year;
• Canadian railroads logged 5,363,611 carloads, containers and trailers, up 3.9 percent over a year ago; and
• Mexican railroads posted 1,391,222 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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