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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Railroads moved less traffic in 2017's first week


U.S. railroads reported 441,417 carloads and intermodal units for the year's first week ending Jan. 7, down 11.4 percent compared with the same period last year, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

The railroads' carloads totaled 221,146 units, down 7.7 percent. Intermodal volume plummeted 14.9 percent to 220,271 containers and trailers compared with 2016’s first week.

Only two of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR tracks on a weekly basis posted an increase compared with a year ago. They were metallic ores and metals, up 5.4 percent to 20,403 carloads, and grain, up 0.9 percent to 21,476 carloads.

Commodity groups that logged decreases included petroleum and petroleum products, down 32.1 percent to 8,903 carloads; farm products excluding grain, and food, down 18.4 percent to 13,802 carloads; and forest products, down 15.3 percent to 9,034 carloads.

Canadian railroads reported cumulative traffic volume for the first week at 121,080 carloads, containers and trailers, down 4.8 percent compared with last year. Total carloads inched up 1.9 percent to 69,926 units, but intermodal volume dropped 12.6 percent to 51,154 containers and trailers.

Mexican railroads' traffic volume for the week plunged 22.6 percent, with carloads declining 26.5 percent to 11,261 units and intermodal units falling 16.5 percent to 8,179 containers and trailers.

North American rail volume for 2017's first week totaled 581,937 carloads and intermodal units, down 10.6 percent compared with the same 2016 period.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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