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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Rail traffic produces mixed results in 2016's second week


U.S. railroads logged 242,670 carloads, down 16.6 percent, while intermodal volumes edged up 1.1 percent for the second week of 2016, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

For the week ending Jan. 16, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 506,433 carloads and intermodal units, down 8.2 percent compared with the same week last year.

Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2015 included coal, down 32.6 percent; metallic ores and metals, down 24.2 percent; and petroleum and petroleum products, down 18.5 percent. Three categories logged increases: miscellaneous carloads, up 21.4 percent; motor vehicles and parts, up 2.8 percent; and chemicals, up 2.2 percent.

Canadian railroads reported 68,470 carloads for the week, down 13.6 percent, along with 58,209 intermodal units, down 0.9 percent compared with the year-ago period. Mexican railroads posted 16,888 carloads for the week, an increase of 1.8 percent, and 10,680 intermodal units, down 3.4 percent.

For the first two weeks of the year, U.S. railroads reported a combined traffic volume of 1,004,593 carloads and intermodal units, a decrease of 6 percent compared with the same period in 2015. 

Canadian railroads' cumulative rail traffic volume for the two-week period was 253,768 carloads, containers and trailers, down 5.6 percent compared with the previous year. Mexican railroads' cumulative volume for the two weeks was 52,638 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, up 1.8 percent from the same point last year.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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