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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

RMI index: Short lines' carloads inch up in January


After slogging through 2009 with a 25-percent drop in carloads, short lines completed 2010’s first month with a gain — at least in comparison to last year’s weak traffic figures. In January, 337 regionals and short lines handled 357,299 carloads, up 2.5 percent compared with January 2009 volume, according to RMI’s latest RailConnect Index of Short Line Traffic.

Carloads of ores skyrocketed 149.5 percent to 11,917 while “all other” traffic soared 54.8 percent to 8,398 units. Other notable year-over-year traffic gains include a 31 percent jump in motor vehicle and equipment moves to 3,463 units, 19.4 percent climb in grain moves to 54,497 units, and 7.7 percent rise in waste and scrap material moves to 18,210 units.

Only four traffic segments registered year-over-year declines: intermodal, down 20.8 percent to 23,890 units; coal, down 18.8 percent to 41,870 units; paper products, down 6.6 percent to 22,743 units; and farm and food products (excluding grain), down 2 percent to 18,071 units.

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More News from 2/8/2010