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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

BNSF sets units-handled record in May


Last month, BNSF Railway Co. handled 910,349 rail cars, containers and trailers, breaking its monthly record of 896,097 units set in October 2005.

The May figure — which exceeds the units handled during 2006’s first five months by the Kansas City Southern Railway, and all U.S. Class IIs and IIIs combined, BNSF said — includes traffic originated on the Class I and received from other railroads.

“Record volumes were driven by continued strength in all our business units, particularly by significant volume increases in our coal and intermodal franchises,” said BNSF Chief Economist Sam Kyei in a prepared statement.

In May, BNSF loaded more than 4 million tons of coal, a 20 percent increase compared with May 2005. Coal loaded in the Powder River Basin (PRB) rose about 23 percent.

During 2006’s first five months, BNSF loaded 113.4 million tons of coal, up 9.1 percent compared with the same 2005 period. In the PRB, the Class I loaded an average of 48.4 trains per day, a 9.3 percent increase.

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