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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR: Carload traffic decline continues in Week 6


A familiar pattern continued during the week ending Feb. 13, with U.S. rail carload traffic falling and intermodal volumes climbing, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

U.S. railroads logged 244,334 carloads, down 15.4 percent, and 260,814 intermodal containers and trailers, up 10.4 percent compared with volumes during the same week in 2015. Total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 505,148 carloads and intermodal units, down 3.8 percent compared with the same week last year.

Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2015 included coal, down 32.5 percent to 75,249 carloads; petroleum and petroleum products, down 23.4 percent to 11,303 carloads; and metallic ores and metals, down 15.4 percent to 19,196 carloads.

Two of the 10 carload groups posted increases: miscellaneous carloads, up 27.4 percent to 9,406 carloads; and motor vehicles and parts, up 12.6 percent to 18,711 carloads.

Canadian railroads reported 70,900 carloads for the week, down 7.9 percent, and 60,702 intermodal units, up 0.5 percent compared with the same week in 2015. Mexican railroads reported 15,954 carloads for the week, up 2.4 percent compared with the same week last year, and 11,653 intermodal units, up 11.5 percent.

For the first 6 weeks of 2016:
• U.S. railroads reported total combined traffic of 3,017,321 carloads and intermodal units, down 5.8 percent compared with 2015's traffic numbers;
• Canadian railroads posted cumulative rail traffic volume during the period of 777,296 carloads, containers and trailers, down 5.1 percent; and
• Mexican railroads logged cumulative volume of 162,019 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, up 2.4 percent from the same point in 2015.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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