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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. rail carload, intermodal traffic fell in Week 21


U.S. rail traffic volume dropped 6.7 percent to 527,966 carloads and intermodal units during the week ending May 25 compared with the same week last year, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

Total carloads for the week slipped 5 percent to 259,953 units, while intermodal volume fell 8.3 percent to 268,013 containers and trailers.

Only three of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR tracks on a weekly basis posted increases for the week. They were petroleum and petroleum products, up 2,567 carloads to 13,275; miscellaneous carloads, up 688 carloads to 10,241; and motor vehicles and parts, up 145 carloads to 17,042.

Commodity groups that logged decreases during the week included coal, down 7,770 carloads to 76,971; grain, down 3,299 carloads to 22,495; and metallic ores and metals, down 2,527 carloads to 23,533.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported carload volume of 84,297 units, up 1.1 percent for the week, and 65,767 intermodal units, down 0.5 percent. Mexican railroads reported 21,064 carloads for the week, down 3.4 percent, and 17,845 intermodal units, down 4.4 percent.

For the first 21 weeks of 2019 compared with the same period a year ago:
• U.S. railroads posted combined traffic of 10,898,432 carloads and intermodal units, down 2.3 percent;
• Canadian railroads logged 3,147,525 carloads, containers and trailers, up 2.2 percent; and
• Mexican railroads reported 765,259 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 4.6 percent.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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