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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. carload traffic dipped in Week 29

U.S. railroads' total carload traffic fell 2 percent to 256,863 units during the week ending July 22 compared with the same week in 2016, marking the first decline in carloads in several weeks, according to Association of American Railroads' (AAR) data.

U.S. intermodal volume rose 4.1 percent to 277,289 containers and trailers during the week compared with a year ago. Total U.S. weekly rail traffic increased 1.1 percent to
534,152 carloads and intermodal units compared with last year's weekly total.

Although total U.S. carload traffic slowed during the week, coal continued its growth trend, surging 5.3 percent to 88,304 carloads compared with last year's traffic. Coal was one of three commodity groups that posted increases during the week: The others were nonmetallic minerals, up 2.9 percent to 38,630 carloads; and forest products, up 1.9 percent to 10,388 carloads.

Commodity groups that logged decreases compared with the same week in 2016 included grain, down 15.8 percent to 20,316 carloads; miscellaneous carloads, down 15.2 percent to 9,258 carloads; and motor vehicles and parts, down 13.2 percent to 12,696 carloads.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported 74,663 carloads for the week, up 6.5 percent, and 67,374 intermodal units, up 9.3 percent compared with the same week in 2016. Mexican railroads moved 17,011 carloads for the week, up 6.9 percent compared with the same week last year, and 11,824 intermodal units, up 19.4 percent.

For the first 29 weeks of this year, U.S. railroads reported total combined traffic of 15,119,363 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 4.3 percent compared to last year.

Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 4,127,599 carloads, containers and trailers, up 11.5 percent during the 29-week period, while Mexican railroads reported cumulative volume of 783,720 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 1 percent from the same point last year.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/27/2017