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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR traffic totals for week 28: U.S., Canadian roads remain on carload growth track


Another week, another traffic gain for U.S. railroads. During the week ending July 17, the roads moved 328,212 carloads, up 2.1 percent, and 215,820 trailers and containers, up 11 percent compared with data from the same 2003 week, according to the Association of American Railroads.

Roads registered traffic gains in 12 of 19 commodity groups, with coke, metals and non-metallic minerals up 37.6 percent, 18.7 percent and 18.2 percent, respectively. However, motor vehicles and equipment moves dropped 25.6 percent because some auto plants closed to prepare for model changeovers, AAR said.

During the year's first 28 weeks, U.S. roads moved 9,343,743 carloads, up 3.7 percent, and 5,729,945 trailers and containers, up 9.1 percent compared with similar 2003 data. Total estimated volume of 843.2 billion ton-miles rose 4.9 percent.

For Canadian railroads, the week ending July 17 brought mixed traffic results. Carloads totaling 60,545 rose 4.5 percent, but intermodal loads totaling 43,008 dropped 1.2 percent compared with last year.

However, Canadian roads' 1,876,715 carloads and 1,159,786 intermodal loads through the year's first 28 weeks represent 8.8 percent and 0.1 percent increases, respectively, compared with similar 2003 data.

On a combined cumulative-volume basis through 28 weeks, 15 reporting U.S. and Canadian roads moved 11,220,458 carloads, up 4.5 percent, and 6,889,731 trailers and containers, up 7.5 percent compared with last year.

In Mexico, TFM S.A. de C.V. continues its carload rebound, but intermodal traffic still is lagging behind last year's figures. During the week ending July 17, TFM moved 8,021 carloads, up 10.5 percent, and 3,167 originated trailers and containers, down 8.1 percent. Through 28 weeks, the road's 238,830 carloads and 100,206 intermodal loads represent 0.8 percent and 0.6 percent declines, respectively.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/23/2004