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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Genesee & Wyoming tally, RMI index show year-to-date carload climbs


In February, Genesee & Wyoming Inc.’s (GWI) railroads’ handled 72,687 carloads, up 12.1 percent compared with February 2010 volume. Excluding carloads in Australia from FreightLink — which GWI acquired in December 2010 — same-railroad traffic in February rose 5.1 percent year over year.

The short-line holding company attributes the increase to stronger farm and food products demand, primarily in the Australia Region, and higher “other commodity group” traffic, especially in the New York/Ohio/Pennsylvania Region. However, carloadings was negatively impacted by severe winter weather in North America and flooding in Australia, GWI officials said in a prepared statement.

In January and February, the company registered 155,422 carloads, up 19.5 percent compared with the same 2010 period. GWI owns 63 regionals and short lines in the United States, Canada, Australia and the Netherlands.

Meanwhile, RMI’s RailConnect Index of Short Line Traffic shows that 338 small railroads handled 923,052 carloads through 2011’s first nine weeks (which ended March 5), a 9 percent increase compared with the same 2010 period.

Motor vehicles/equipment carloads ballooned 51.9 percent to 12,900 units; intermodal loads climbed 27.4 percent to 69,945 units; stone/clay/aggregate carloads jumped 18.4 percent to 89,043 units; metals and products carloads increased 11.1 percent to 76,533 units; and farm and food products carloads rose 10.4 percent to 45,824 units. Among 14 commodity groups, the only one that posted a year-over-year drop is ores, which fell 23.3 percent to 25,693 units.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/14/2011