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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. rail carload, intermodal traffic fell in Week 7


U.S. railroads' combined carload and intermodal volumes dropped 3 percent to 523,915 units for the week ending Feb. 16 compared with year-ago levels, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

Railroads logged 250,236 carloads for the week, down 3.9 percent, and 273,679 intermodal containers and trailers, down 2.1 percent.

Three of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR tracks on a weekly basis posted increases during the week compared with a year ago. They were petroleum and petroleum products, up 1,794 carloads to 11,887; miscellaneous carloads, up 509 carloads to 9,528; and forest products, up 26 carloads to 9,981.

Commodity groups that posted decreases included coal, down 7,853 carloads to 80,105; nonmetallic minerals, down 2,038 carloads to 32,012; and chemicals, down 793 carloads to 32,321.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads logged 73,275 carloads for the week, up 2.2 percent, and 62,783 intermodal units, down 5.1 percent compared with the same week in 2018.  Mexican railroads reported 20,763 carloads, down 3.9 percent, and 17,293 intermodal units, down 2.6 percent.

Through 2019's first seven weeks on a year-over-year basis:
• U.S. railroads reported total combined traffic of 3,598,349 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 0.3 percent;
• Canadian railroads posted cumulative rail traffic volume of 999,293 carloads, containers and trailers, up 3.1 percent; and
• Mexican railroads logged 234,653 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 10.6 percent.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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