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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR: U.S. rail traffic fell 5.9 percent in Week 34


The decline in U.S. railroads' carload and intermodal traffic continued during the week ending Aug. 24, with Association of American Railroads (AAR) data showing a 5.9 percent decrease to 532,483 units compared with the same week a year ago.

The railroads logged 261,031 carloads, down 5.3 percent, and 271,452 containers and trailers, down 6.5 percent compared to 2018.

Four of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR follows on a weekly basis posted increases. They included miscellaneous carloads, up 961 carloads to 10,973; petroleum and petroleum products, up 888 carloads to 12,212; and motor vehicles and parts, up 609 carloads to 17,422.

Commodity groups that posted decreases included coal, down 10,166 carloads to 81,319; metallic ores and metals, down 4,003 carloads to 21,435; and forest products, down 1,093 carloads to 9,743.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported carload activity fell 2.1 percent to 83,339 units, while intermodal volume remained steady at a 0.9 percent increase to 73,322 containers and trailers.

Mexican railroads posted 21,015 carloads for the week, up 1.4 percent compared with the same week last year, and 17,114 intermodal units, down 13.2 percent.

For the first 34 weeks of 2019 compared with the same period in 2018:
• U.S. railroads logged 17,658,202 carloads and intermodal units, down 3.6 percent;
• Canadian railroads posted 5,150,995 carloads, containers and trailers, up 1.9 percent; and
• Mexican railroads reported 1,273,574 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 3.4 percent.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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