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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Intermodal gain bolsters U.S. rail traffic in Week 51


U.S. freight railroads moved 520,305 carloads, containers and trailers during the week ending Dec. 19, a 2.5% increase compared with the same week last year, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

Total carloads for the week declined 5.8 percent to 230,838 units, while total intermodal volume climbed 10.3% to 289,467 containers and trailers.

Two of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR tracks every week posted an increase. They were grain, up 4,274 carloads to 25,860; and chemicals, up 879 carloads to 33,276. Commodity groups that posted decreases included coal, down 9,907 carloads to 62,110; nonmetallic minerals, down 4,300 carloads to 25,840; and petroleum and petroleum products, down 2,416 carloads to 11,701.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads logged 84,546 carloads during the week, down 1.9%; and 73,122 intermodal units, up 7.7%. Mexican railroads posted 20,193 carloads, up 1.3%, and 14,821 intermodal units, down 19.4%.

Individual Class Is logged the following carload volume during the week compared with the same week a year ago: BNSF Railway Co., 90,436 carloads, down from 98,597; Canadian Pacific, 36,874, up from 36,605; CN, 61,209, down from 65,022; CSX, 65,704, down from 67,402; Kansas City Southern, 14,939, down from 15,713; Norfolk Southern Railway, 52,734, down from 58,150; and Union Pacific Railroad, 84,101, down from 87,736.

For the first 51 weeks of 2020 compared with the same period in 2019:
• U.S. railroads reported 24,330,415 carloads and intermodal units, down 7.6%;
• Canadian railroads reported 7,377,822 carloads and intermodal units, down 4.3%; and
• Mexican railroads reported 1,771,022 carloads and intermodal units, down 9.8%.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/28/2020