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Rail News Home Rail Industry Trends

12/30/2010



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

RAC: 2010 a good year for Canadian roads after a trying 2009


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This year predominantly has been a good one for Canadian railroads, especially traffic-wise. As of mid-December, the roads had hauled 3.6 million carloads, up 17 percent compared with 2009 volume, according to the Railway Association of Canada (RAC).

However, a “2010 Railway Trends” report recently released by the RAC shows 2009 wasn’t a very good year for Canadian railroads by several measures. With the exception of agricultural, manufactured goods and miscellaneous traffic volumes, freight carloads fell 11.1 percent year over year, while the number of passengers traveling on intercity trains dipped 7.4 percent and commuter-rail ridership declined 1.6 percent, according to RAC’s report.

Total industry revenue decreased 14.3 percent to $9.6 billion and freight revenue — the largest component of industry revenue — dropped 15.2 percent to its lowest level since 2004.

Even in a down year, there were at least a few ups, according to the RAC. The industry’s fuel expenses plummeted by $820 million, or 40.4 percent, year over year, and railroads invested $1.5 billion in capital expenditures, up 10 percent vs. 2008, the report states.

Track and roadway work projects totaling $706 million represented about half of total spending. The second-highest component: rolling stock acquisitions, which rose 9.3 percent to $317 million.


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