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1/14/2005



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR traffic report: U.S. roads pick up where they left off in 2004



U.S. railroads set a number of traffic records last year and they aren't wasting any time increasing carloads and intermodal loads in 2005.

During Week No. 1 ending Jan. 8, the roads moved 320,541 carloads, up 1.2 percent, and 206,544 trailers and containers, up 9.4 percent compared with 2004's first week, according to the Association of American Railroads. The roads' total estimated volume of 29.5 billion ton-miles rose 2.1 percent compared with the same 2004 period.

But north of the U.S. border, Canadian railroads were slow out of the gate. During the week ending Jan. 8, the roads moved 61,454 carloads and 36,767 intermodal loads, a 2.9 percent and 7.7 percent decline, respectively, compared with 2004's first week.

On a combined-volume basis during Week No. 1, 15 reporting U.S. and Canadian roads moved 381,995 carloads, up 0.7 percent, and 243,311 trailers and containers, up 6.5 percent compared with the same 2004 period.

In Mexico, TFM S.A. de C.V. is trying to avoid a repeat sluggish start. Last year, the road didn't begin to increase traffic until the second quarter. So far, so good: During the week ending Jan. 8, TFM moved 8,152 carloads and 2,500 intermodal loads, a 4.3 percent and 9.7 percent increase, respectively, compared with 2004's first week.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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