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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. freight-rail traffic down 3.7 percent so far in 2019


U.S. freight-rail traffic dropped 4.8 percent to 526,734 carloads and intermodal units during the week ending Sept. 24 compared with the same period a year ago, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

Carload traffic dipped 6.1 percent to 252,310 during the week, while intermodal volume fell 3.5 percent to 274,424 containers and trailers, AAR officials said in a press release.

Only one of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR tracks on a weekly basis posted an increase: Motor vehicles and parts logged 17,339 units, up 299 over the same week in 2018.

Among the nine commodity group traffic decreases, coal was down 4,950 carloads to 80,753; grain, down 2,915 carloads to 18,337; and metallic ores and metals, down 2,360 carloads to 22,766.

Meanwhile, Canadian freight railroads logged 80,505 carloads for the week, down 3 percent, and 74,960 intermodal units, up 0.9 percent compared with the same week in 2018. Mexican railroads reported 20,232 carloads for the week, up 1.7 percent compared with the same week last year, and 20,913 intermodal units, up 16.7 percent.

For the first 37 weeks of 2019 compared with the same period in 2018:
• U.S. freight railroads reported 19,196,166 carloads and intermodal units, down 3.7 percent;
• Canadian railroads reported 5,610,616 carloads, containers and trailers, up 1.6 percent; and
• Mexican railroads reported 1,389,005 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 3.3 percent.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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