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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR traffic update: U.S., Canadian roads still ahead of 2003 levels; TFM remains on a tear

With 44 weeks down, traffic's still up for U.S. railroads. Carloads and intermodal loads totaling 14.8 million and 9.3 million, respectively, during that time span rose 2.9 percent and 9.7 percent compared with 2003's first 44 weeks, according to the Association of American Railroads. Total estimated volume of 1.36 trillion ton-miles increased 5.2 percent.

During the week ending Nov. 6, U.S. roads moved 343,427 carloads, up 2.4 percent, and 233,559 trailers and containers, up 11.2 percent compared with a similar 2003 period. The intermodal loads were the roads' all-time second-highest total, trailing only the record 235,876 units moved during the week ending Oct. 30.

Canadian railroads also increased weekly carloads, moving 2.5 percent more units (71,026) compared with the same 2003 period. However, the roads' weekly intermodal traffic totaling 43,797 trailers and containers dropped 3.7 percent.

Through 44 weeks, Canadian roads moved 2.9 million carloads and 1.8 million intermodal loads, a 7.4 percent and 0.2 percent increase, respectively, compared with 2003's first 44 weeks.

On a combined cumulative-volume basis through 44 weeks, 15 reporting U.S. and Canadian roads moved 17.8 million carloads, up 3.6 percent, and 11.1 million trailers and containers, up 8 percent compared with the same 2003 period.

In Mexico, TFM S.A. de C.V. continues to increase traffic after a slow start earlier this year. During the week ending Nov. 6, the road moved 9,781 carloads and 4,020 intermodal loads, up 18.4 percent and 18.6 percent, respectively, compared with the same 2003 week. And through 44 weeks, TFM increased carloads 3.5 percent to 384,251 units and intermodal loads, 7.3 percent to 165,381 units compared with 2003's first 44 weeks.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/12/2004