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10/4/2004



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. roads set weekly intermodal volume record for second-straight week, AAR says



Another week, another intermodal volume record for U.S. railroads. During the week ending Sept. 25, the roads moved 231,025 trailers and containers, breaking a record set the previous week by 1,986 units, according to the Association of American Railroads. The weekly total also bested intermodal volume from a comparable 2003 week by 10 percent.

However, Hurricane Ivan affected the roads' weekly carloads, which dropped 0.2 percent to 341,584 units compared with similar 2003 data. Eastern carload volume declined 3.7 percent while western carload volume rose 2.7 percent.

Despite the one-week carload decline, year-to-date traffic remains strong. During 2004's first 38 weeks, U.S. roads moved 12,740,286 carloads, up 3.1 percent, and 7,916,788 trailers and containers, up 9.5 percent compared with last year. Total estimated volume of 1.151 trillion ton-miles rose 4.2 percent.

Canadian roads' year-over-year weekly traffic totals were similar to U.S. roads' outcome. During the week ending Sept. 25, Canadian roads' carloads dropped 2 percent to 66,820 units while intermodal loads increased 0.8 percent to 45,087 units compared with similar 2003 data.

During 2004's first 38 weeks, Canadian roads moved 2,530,621 carloads and 1,581,590 intermodal loads, an 8.1 percent and 0.1 percent increase, respectively, compared with last year.

On a combined cumulative-volume basis through 38 weeks, 15 reporting U.S. and Canadian roads moved 15,270,907 carloads, up 3.9 percent, and 9,498,378 trailers and containers, up 7.9 percent compared with similar 2003 data.

In Mexico, TFM S.A. de C.V. maintained its weekly traffic-building pace. During the week ending Sept. 25, the road moved 8,821 carloads and 4,326 intermodal loads, a 10.4 percent and 21.1 percent increase, respectively, compared with the same 2003 period. Through 38 weeks, TFM's carloads rose 1.8 percent to 327,029 units and intermodal loads increased 4.3 percent to 139,260 units compared with last year.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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