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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Transportation Services Index slipped a bit in January

The Transportation Services Index (TSI) in January was tabulated at 115, down 1.9 percent from December 2013's mark but up 1.3 percent from January 2013's level, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS).

The Freight TSI of 113.6 tumbled 2.8 percent versus December's index — the second-straight monthly drop and first two-month decline since October 2012. A measure of month-to-month changes in the output of for-hire rail, trucking, inland waterway, pipeline and air freight carriers, the index increased 1.3 percent on a year-over-year basis.

Increases in employment and personal income in January couldn't prevent the Freight TSI's month-over-month drop, BTS officials said in a press release.

"The index for each freight mode declined in January, with the largest decline in trucking. These declines took place during a period of severe winter weather, which particularly hit the heavily populated parts of the country," they said. "Severe weather can affect the demand for goods to ship as well as the ability to move goods."

Meanwhile, the Passenger TSI of 118.1 in January inched up 0.2 percent from December's mark and increased 1.2 percent from January 2013's level. The index measures month-to-month changes in travel provided by for-hire air, local transit and intercity rail services.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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