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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR: U.S. roads post second-highest weekly traffic, fourth-highest weekly intermodal volume


U.S. railroads hit the year’s intermodal traffic high-water mark during the week ending Aug. 13, moving 234,558 trailers and containers, up 7 percent compared with the same 2004 week — marking the fourth-highest intermodal week ever, according to Association of American Railroads data.

Roads also moved 339,019 carloads, up 1.1 percent compared with last year. Total estimated volume rose 1.8 percent to 33.5 billion ton-miles — the second-busiest freight volume week ever.

Twelve of 19 carload commodity groups posted increases, including farm products other than grain, which rose 50.5 percent; nonmetallic minerals, 19.2 percent; and grain mill products, 12 percent.

Cumulative volume for 2005’s first 32 weeks totaled 10,627,596 carloads, up 1.4 percent compared with 2004’s first 32 weeks; 7,010,248 trailers or containers, up 6.1 percent; and 1.02 trillion ton-miles, up 2.3 percent.

Meanwhile, Canadian roads moved 74,647 carloads, down 0.7 percent compared with the same week last year, and 45,587 intermodal loads, up 8.1 percent. For the year’s first 32 weeks, they carried 2,420,385 carloads, down 0.4 percent and 1,352,011 trailers and containers, up 2.3 percent.

On a combined-cumulative basis, U.S. and Canadian roads moved 13,047,981 carloads, a 1.1 percent increase compared with the same 2004 period, and 8,362,259 trailers a 5.5 percent increase.

In Mexico, TFM S.A. de C.V. still is in a traffic slump, carrying 7,919 carloads, a 9.8 percent drop compared with the same 2004 period, and 3,880 intermodal loads, down 10.1 percent. Cumulative volume of 272,405 carloads dropped 0.1 percent compared with 2004’s first 32 weeks, but intermodal traffic rose 6.0 percent to 122,036 units.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/19/2005