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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Intermodal gain drives total U.S. rail volume increase in Week 50


U.S. freight railroads reported traffic rose 4.9% to 546,209 carloads and intermodal units for the week ending Dec. 12 compared with the same week last year, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR).

Railroads hauled 238,193 carloads for the week, down 2.2%, and 308,016 containers and trailers, up 11.1%, AAR officials said in a press release.

Three carload commodity groups posted increases during the period: Grain rose 7,613 units to 28,390; chemicals climbed 1,676 units to 32,591; and farm products excluding grain, and food rose 525 units to 15,978.

Commodity groups that posted decreases included coal, down 8,651 units to 63,777; petroleum and petroleum products, down 2,252 units to 11,485; and metallic ores and metals, down 1,854 units to 20,765.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported increases in both carload and intermodal volume. Carloads were up 5.3% to 86,457, and containers and trailers were up 8.5% to 75,479. Mexican railroads logged 20,282 carloads for the week, up 0.9%, and 15,009 intermodal units, down 19.4%.

Individual Class Is logged the following carloads during the week compared with the same week a year ago: BNSF Railway Co., 92,342 carloads, down from 94,694; Canadian Pacific, 36,894, up from 34,514; CN, 64,403, up from 64,080; CSX, 67,584, down from 68,424; Kansas City Southern, 14,696, down from 15,592; Norfolk Southern, 57,162, down from 60,390; and Union Pacific Railroad, 85,696, down from 90,623.

For the first 50 weeks of 2020 compared with the same period in 2019:
• U.S. railroads logged 23,810,110 carloads and intermodal units, down 7.8%;
• Canadian railroads posted 7,220,154 carloads, containers and trailers, down 4.5%; and
• Mexican railroads reported 1,736,008 carloads and intermodal units, down 9.8%.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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