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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR traffic update: U.S. roads still on a roll, TFM narrows year-over-year gaps

The beat goes on for U.S. railroads. During the week ending Aug. 14, the roads moved 342,262 carloads, up 2.2 percent, and 219,156 trailers and containers, up 12.2 percent compared with data from a similar week last year, according to Association of American Railroads data.

Year-to-date traffic continues to rise as well. Through 32 weeks, U.S. roads increased carloads 3.5 percent to 10,695,744 units and intermodal loads, 9.5 percent to 6,605,229 units compared with similar 2003 data. Total estimated volume of 966.1 billion ton-miles rose 4.7 percent.

Canadian railroads' weekly traffic was strong, too. During the week ending Aug. 14, the roads moved 65,381 carloads, up 12.8 percent, and 42,254 trailers and containers, up 6.3 percent compared with last year.

But year-to-date totals show the roads are struggling to build intermodal traffic. Through 32 weeks, Canadian roads increased carloads 8.9 percent to 2,133,334 units, but intermodal loads totaling 1,326,150 units declined 0.1 percent compared with similar 2003 data.

On a combined cumulative-volume basis through 32 weeks, 15 reporting U.S. and Canadian roads moved 12,829,078 carloads, up 4.3 percent, and 7,931,379 trailers and containers, up 7.7 percent compared with last year.

Meanwhile, Mexican road TFM S.A. de C.V. continues to mount a traffic comeback. During the week ending Aug. 14, the road moved 8,779 carloads, up 12.3 percent, and 4,315 trailers and containers, up 27.4 percent compared with last year. Through 32 weeks, TFM has narrowed its year-over-year traffic drops to 0.1 percent for carloads and 0.8 percent for intermodal loads.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/20/2004