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1/13/2006



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

New Year's holiday muddies railroads' year-over-year traffic comparisons, AAR says



During 2006’s first week, U.S. railroads’ traffic took a tumble compared with the same 2005 week. But the slow start is more a matter of the year’s first week including the New Year’s holiday — which the comparable 2005 week didn’t — than a traffic slowdown, according to the Association of American Railroads.

During the week ending Jan. 7, U.S. roads’ carloads totaling 311,562 units dropped 1.5 percent and intermodal loads totaling 192,851 units fell 6.6 percent. Total estimated volume of 30.2 billion ton-miles decreased 0.3 percent compared with the same 2005 period.

Canadian railroads experienced a similar week. Carloads totaling 65,557 units and intermodal loads totaling 35,055 units declined 6.9 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively, compared with 2005’s first week.

On a combined-volume basis during the period ending Jan. 7, 13 reporting U.S. and Canadian railroads moved 377,119 carloads, down 2.5 percent, and 227,906 trailers and containers, down 6.3 percent compared with the same 2005 week.

Meanwhile, Kansas City Southern de México (KCSM) began the year the same way it ended 2005: in the midst of a traffic decline. During the week ending Jan. 7, KCSM’s carloads totaling 7,182 units dropped 11.9 percent and intermodal loads totaling 2,149 units decreased 14 percent compared with 2005’s first week.


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