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U.S. freight railroads start September with another drop in traffic


U.S. railroads started off September with another decrease in rail traffic, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

The railroads logged 469,285 carloads and intermodal units for the week ending Sept. 7 compared with the same week a year ago, AAR officials said in a press release.

Total carloads for the week were 238,988 units, down 5.6 percent, while intermodal volume was 230,297 containers and trailers, down 7.5 percent.

Three of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR follows on a weekly basis posted increases. They were chemicals, up 1,425 carloads to 30,888; miscellaneous carloads, up 42 carloads to 8,674; and petroleum and petroleum products, up 1 carload to 11,653.

Commodity groups that posted decreases included coal, down 5,965 carloads to 79,446; grain, down 2,589 carloads to 17,431; and nonmetallic minerals, down 2,524 carloads to 32,734.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported 77,774 carloads for the week, down 6 percent, and 66,136 intermodal units, up 1.4 percent. Mexican railroads reported 18,619 carloads for the week, down 10.6 percent, and 15,910 intermodal units, down 17.8 percent.

For the first 36 weeks of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018:
• U.S. freight railroads reported 18,669,432 carloads and intermodal units, down 3.7 percent;
• Canadian railroads logged 5,455,151 carloads, containers and trailers, up 1.7 percent; and
• Mexican railroads posted 1,347,860 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 3.6 percent.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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