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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. freight railroads post traffic decline in Week 38


U.S. freight-rail traffic fell 6.8 percent to 528,670 carloads and intermodal units during the week ending Sept. 21 compared with the same week last year, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

Total carloads for the week declined 8 percent to 250,794 units, while intermodal volume fell 5.7 percent to 277,876 containers and trailers.

Chemicals was the only one of 10 commodity groups that AAR follows on a weekly basis that posted an increase during the week. Chemical carloads rose 532 units to 32,280.

The commodity groups that posted decreases included coal, down 9,194 carloads to 78,881; grain, down 4,300 carloads to 19,018; and metallic ores and metals, down 2,122 carloads to 21,905.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads also logged traffic decreases for the week. Carload volume fell 3.9 percent to 81,436 units, while intermodal volume declined 0.6 percent to 74,819 units.

Mexican railroads reported 19,241 carloads for the week, down 0.3 percent compared with the same week last year, and 18,413 intermodal units, up 3.5 percent.

For the first 38 weeks of 2019 compared with 2018:
• U.S. railroads reported 19,724,836 carloads and intermodal units, down 3.8 percent;
• Canadian railroads reported 5,766,871 carloads, containers and trailers, up 1.5 percent; and
• Mexican railroads reported 1,426,659 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 3.1 percent.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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