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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR: U.S. rail traffic fell 2 percent in Week 18


Although U.S. rail carload volume ticked up, intermodal traffic fell during the week ending May 4 compared with the same week a year ago, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

U.S. railroads logged a total 535,089 carloads and intermodal units, down 2 percent compared with the same week last year. Total carloads for the week climbed 1 percent to 268,559 units, while intermodal volume dropped 4.9 percent to 266,530 containers and trailers.

Four of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR tracks weekly posted increases. They included coal, up 6,712 carloads to 84,481; petroleum and petroleum products, up 3,367 carloads to 13,231; and miscellaneous carloads, up 1,295 units to 9,543.

Commodity groups that registered decreases included nonmetallic minerals, down 4,072 carloads to 37,103; grain, down 2,811 carloads to 22,287; and motor vehicles and parts, down 2,060 carloads to 16,491.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads logged 88,908 carloads for the week, up 3.3 percent, and 74,194 intermodal units, up 3.7 percent compared with the same week in 2018. Mexican railroads posted 19,423 carloads for the week, down 2.7 percent compared with the same week last year, and 16,938 intermodal units, up 11.3 percent.

For the first 18 weeks of 2019 versus the same period a year ago:
• U.S. railroads reported a combined 9,304,845 carloads and intermodal units, down 1.9 percent;
• Canadian railroads reported 2,686,804 carloads, containers and trailers, up 2.5 percent; and
• Mexican railroads reported 647,259 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 5.4 percent.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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