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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR adds Ferromex data to weekly traffic report


One thing in the Association of American Railroads' (AAR) latest weekly traffic report remains the same: U.S. railroads continued to register a carload decline. But there's one thing different in the report, too. For the first time, it includes data from Ferrocarril Mexicano S.A. de C.V. (Ferromex).

During the week ending Oct. 4, U.S. roads originated 336,457 carloads, down 0.1 percent compared with volume from the same week last year. However, their intermodal volume totaling 244,828 containers and trailers rose 0.8 percent.

During 2008's first 40 weeks, the roads originated 13 million carloads, down 0.2 percent, and 9 million containers and trailers, down 3 percent compared with totals from the same 2007 period. Total estimated volume reached 1.35 trillion ton-miles, up 0.9 percent.

Canadian railroads had a bad week all around. Their carloads totaling 75,227 units dropped 5.7 percent and intermodal volume totaling 51,903 units decreased 1.3 percent compared with totals from the same week in 2007. Through 40 weeks, Canadian railroads originated 3 million carloads, down 4.4 percent, and 1.9 million containers and trailers, up 4 percent.

On a combined cumulative-volume basis through 40 weeks, reporting U.S. and Canadian railroads originated 16 million carloads, down 1 percent, and 10.9 million intermodal loads, down 1.8 percent compared with totals from the same 2007 period.

Meanwhile, the AAR's weekly report now includes traffic data for both Kansas City Southern de México S.A. de C.V. (KCSM) and Ferromex.

"This furthers a long-term goal to include in the weekly railroad traffic report more railroads from all three countries of North America," AAR officials said in a prepared statement.

Beginning in 2009's first week, the association plans to integrate KCSM's and Ferromex's data in the report, which will feature Mexican carload and intermodal volume totals, and a Mexican graph.

In the meantime, for the week ending Oct. 4, the latest report shows Ferromex handled 13,848 carloads, down 34.4 percent, 3,479 intermodal loads, down 30.9 percent compared with totals from the same week last year. For the 40-week period, the railroad reported 490,773 carloads, up 1 percent, and 115,023 trailers and containers, down 1.3 percent.

During the week ending Oct. 4, KCSM's carload volume totaled 9,745 units, down 16.1 percent, and intermodal volume totaled 5,662 units, up 0.1 percent vs. last year's totals. Through 40 weeks, the railroad's carloads decreased 5.7 percent to 410,814 units and intermodal volume increased 8.2 percent to 197,786 units compared with totals from 2007's first 40 weeks.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/10/2008