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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

North American railroads report mixed traffic results for Week 3


U.S. freight railroads logged 499,732 carloads and intermodal units for the week ending Jan. 18, an 8 percent decline compared with the same week a year ago, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

Total carloads during the week fell 8.4 percent to 237,394, while intermodal volume dropped 7.7 percent to 262,338 containers and trailers.

Three of 10 commodity groups that AAR tracks on a weekly basis posted gains during the week. They were miscellaneous, up 903 carloads to 10,242; metallic ores and metals, up 827 carloads to 21,616; and chemicals, up 649 carloads to 32,478.

Commodity groups that posted decreases included coal, down 17,651 carloads to 70,388; grain, down 3,631 carloads to 19,373; and petroleum and petroleum products, down 978 carloads to 12,730.

Canadian freight railroads also logged a decrease in traffic for the week, with carloads plunging 18.3 percent to 69,368, and intermodal volume dropping 13.3 percent to 61,451 units.

Mexican railroads reported a brighter traffic status for their week, with carloads increasing 12.7 percent to 20,908 units and intermodal volume climbing 7.7 percent to 18,982 units.

For the first three weeks of 2020 compared with the same period in 2019:
• U.S. railroads reported total combined traffic of 1,415,370 carloads and intermodal units, down 7.8 percent;
• Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 412,161 carloads, containers and trailers, down 7.2 percent;
• Mexican railroads reported cumulative volume of 102,545 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, up 0.4 percent; and
• North American railroads reported 1,930,076 carloads and intermodal units, down 7.2 percent.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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