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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Freight-rail traffic slump continues


U.S. freight railroads logged 481,331 carloads and intermodal units during the week ending July 25, down 9.9 percent compared with the same week last year, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

Total carloads for the week were 215,171 units, down 17.8 percent, while intermodal volume was 266,160 containers and trailers, down 2.4 percent, AAR officials said in a press release.

One of 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase during the week: Farm products (excluding grain) and food was up 218 carloads to 16,406.

Among the commodity group decreases were coal, down 23,517 carloads to 57,769; metallic ores and metals, down 8,690 carloads to 15,464; and nonmetallic minerals, down 7,369 carloads to 30,946.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads posted 72,440 carloads for the week, down 13.9 percent, and 70,698 intermodal units, up 0.2 percent. Mexican railroads logged 19,885 carloads during the week, down 7.8 percent, and 14,967 intermodal units, down 21.6 percent.

Individual Class Is logged the following carloads during the week compared with the same week in 2019: BNSF  Railway Co., 79,089 carloads down from 100,337; CN, 55,320 carloads, down from 65,353; Canadian Pacific, 30,292 carloads, down from 34,011; CSX, 59,502 carloads, down from 71,030; Kansas City Southern, 13,749 carloads, down from 15,201; Norfolk Southern Railway, 53,694 carloads, down from 63,863; and Union Pacific Railroad, 79,279 carloads, down from 95,178.

For the first 30 weeks of 2020 compared with the same period during 2019:
• U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 13,549,585 carloads and intermodal units, down 12.7 percent;
• Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 4,148,487 carloads and intermodal units, down 8.5 percent; and
• Mexican railroads reported 1,023,009 carloads and intermodal units, down 10 percent.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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