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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

North American rail traffic gains continued at 2014's end


For the week ending Dec. 27, U.S. railroads logged 252,100 carloads, up 9.2 percent, and 181,238 intermodal units, up 5.4 percent compared with volumes from the same week in 2013, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

Total combined weekly traffic rose 7.6 percent to 433,338 units as nine of 10 carload commodity groups posted gains, led by motor vehicles and parts at 41.6 percent, nonmetallic minerals at 26.3 percent and coal at 9.9 percent. The lone decliner was forest products traffic, which dipped 2.5 percent.

For the full 52-week period as defined by the AAR, U.S. railroads reported 15,176,484 carloads, up 3.9 percent, and 13,496,822 intermodal units, up 5.2 percent year over year.

For the week ending Dec. 27, Canadian railroads registered 70,870 carloads, up 18.7 percent, and 43,646 intermodal units, up 0.1 percent, while Mexican railroads reported 11,955 carloads, up 23.4 percent, and 7,534 intermodal units, up 30.5 percent versus the same week in 2013.

For the 52-week period, Canadian railroads’ carloads increased 2.6 percent to 4,196,771 units and their intermodal volume rose 6.3 percent to 2,970,039 units, and Mexican railroads’ carloads grew 3.3 percent to 817,788 units and their intermodal volume climbed 6 percent to 553,938 units compared with the same 2013 period.

Through 52 weeks, 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads handled 20,191,043 carloads, up 3.6 percent, and 17,020,799 containers and trailers, up 5.4 percent on a year-over-year basis.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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