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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. carload traffic still mired in shrinking pattern, AAR data shows


The intermodal volume up/carloads down trend continued for U.S. railroads in February's first week. For the period ending Feb. 6, U.S. roads reported 241,680 carloads, down 11.7 percent, and 262,830 intermodal loads, up 10.5 percent compared with the same week in 2015, according to Association of American Railroads data.
Total weekly volume of 504,510 units dipped 1.4 percent, and only four of 10 carload commodity groups posted gains, including motor vehicles and parts at 24.6 percent and grain at 5 percent. Big decliners were coal, down 30.3 percent, and petroleum and petroleum products, down 16.8 percent.
Through 2016's first five weeks, U.S. railroads reported 1,209,722 carloads, down 15.7 percent, and 1,302,451 intermodal units, up 4.8 percent compared with the same 2015 period. Total North American rail volume through five weeks fell 5.7 percent to 3,292,279 units.
Canadian railroads reported 70,220 carloads and 61,758 intermodal loads for the week ending Feb. 6, down 7.3 percent, and up 10 percent, respectively, on a year-over-year basis. Through five weeks, their cumulative traffic volume of 645,694 units decreased 5.3 percent.
For the week ending Feb. 6, Mexican railroads reported 15,222 carloads, up 7.2 percent, and 9,789 intermodal units, down 2.1 percent year over year. Their cumulative volume through five weeks inched up 1.7 percent to 134,412 units.

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