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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Rail traffic rose 5.8 percent in Week 19


U.S. railroads posted a 5.8 percent increase in carload and intermodal traffic for the week ending May 12 compared with the same week in 2017, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

Total carloads for the week increased 5.3 percent to 267,196 units, while intermodal volume climbed 6.3 percent to 282,833 containers and trailers compared with the same period a year ago.

Seven of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR follows on a weekly basis posted increases for the week compared to last year. They included coal, up 7,347 carloads to 81,523; nonmetallic minerals, up 5,714 carloads to 42,383; and chemicals, up 1,128 carloads to 32,431.

Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week a year ago were motor vehicles and parts, down 1,440 carloads to 16,915; miscellaneous carloads, down 657 carloads to 9,189; and metallic ores and metals, down 326 carloads to 23,875.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads logged 84,175 carloads for the week, up 7.9 percent, and 70,827 intermodal units, up 4.2 percent compared with the same week in 2017. Mexican railroads reported 21,052 carloads for the week and 17,471 intermodal units. AAR did not report 2017 comparisons for Mexican railroads.

During the first 19 weeks of 2018:
• U.S. railroads reported a combined 10,038,572 carloads and intermodal units, up 3.5 percent over the same period in 2017;
• Canadian railroads posted a combined volume of 2,777,892 carloads, containers and trailers, up 3.1 percent compared with the year-ago period; and
• Mexican railroads logged 719,269 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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