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3/28/2005



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR update: U.S., Canadian roads' traffic on the rise, TFM's intermodal loads tumble



Another week, another traffic gain for U.S. railroads. During the week ending March 19, the roads boosted carloads 3.6 percent to 347,650 units and increased intermodal loads 6.5 percent to 220,361 units compared with the same 2004 week, according to Association of American Railroads data.

Although U.S. roads moved an unprecedented amount of traffic last year, their year-to-date carloads and containers/trailers are well ahead of 2004 levels. Through 2005’s first 11 weeks, the roads’ carloads totaling 3,710,363 units and intermodal loads totaling 2,365,766 units are up 2.8 percent and 9.2 percent, respectively, compared with the same 2004 period. Total estimated volume of 344.5 billion ton-miles rose 3.7 percent.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads rebounded from a mixed traffic performance the previous week. During the week ending March 19, the roads boosted carloads 2 percent to 70,045 units and increased intermodal loads 10.6 percent to 43,024 units compared with the same 2004 week. Through 11 weeks, Canadian railroads’ carloads totaling 729,349 units and intermodal loads totaling 454,661 units rose 2.5 percent and 6.8 percent, respectively, compared with last year.

On a combined cumulative-volume basis through 11 weeks, 15 reporting U.S. and Canadian roads moved 4,439,712 carloads, up 2.8 percent, and 2,820,427 trailers and containers, up 8.8 percent compared with the same 2004 period.

In Mexico, TFM S.A. de C.V. continues to deal with slowing intermodal traffic. Although its carloads rose 1.9 percent to 8,598 units during the week ending March 19, TFM’s intermodal loads dropped 12.5 percent to 3,572 units compared with the same 2004 week. Through 11 weeks, the railroad moved 95,169 carloads, up 6 percent, and 42,160 containers and trailers, up 11.2 percent compared with last year.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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