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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. intermodal traffic surpassed carloads in week 38

U.S. railroads posted 539,609 carloads and intermodal units, down 4.8 percent for the week ending Sept. 24 compared with the same week last year, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

Intermodal volume surpassed carload activity for the week. U.S. railroads logged 271,085 containers and trailers, down 3.5 percent; and 268,524 carloads, down 6.1 percent, compared with the same week in 2015.

Four of the 10 carload commodity groups showed increases during the week compared with a year ago. They included grain, up 13.4 percent to 25,129 carloads; miscellaneous carloads, up 3.6 percent to 10,488 carloads; and chemicals, up 2.3 percent to 30,194 carloads.

Petroleum and petroleum products, down 20.2 percent to 10,379 carloads, led the commodity categories posting decreases for the week. Others that showed declines included coal, down 13.9 percent to 87,486 carloads; and forest products, down 13.2 percent to 9,928 carloads.

Canadian railroads' carload activity during the week rose 7.7 percent to 80,497 units, while intermodal volume declined 2.5 percent to 61,876 containers and trailers compared with a year ago.

Mexican railroads reported 15,496 carloads for the week, down 13.1 percent compared with the same week last year, and 13,177 intermodal units, down 5.3 percent.

For the first 38 weeks of the year, U.S. railroads posted cumulative volume of 19,271,657 carloads and intermodal units, down 7 percent; Canadian railroads logged 4,915,339 carloads, containers and trailers, down 6.2 percent; and Mexican railroads reported 1,020,182 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 2.6 percent, compared with the same period in 2015.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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