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Coal, petroleum and chemical carload gains helped boost U.S. railroads' traffic totals for the week ending Dec. 22, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.U.S. railroads reported total Week 51 traffic volume rose 4.2 percent to 567,252 carloads and intermodal units compared with the same week in 2017. Carloads for the week increased 3.1 percent to 277,111 units, while intermodal volume climbed 5.3 percent to 290,141 units.Six of the 10 carload commodity groups the AAR follows on a weekly basis posted increases. They included coal, up 4,039 carloads to 93,964; petroleum and petroleum products, up 2,019 carloads to 13,401; and chemicals, up 1,908 carloads to 35,032.Commodity groups that posted decreases for the week compared with a year ago included metallic ores and metals, down 1,194 carloads to 24,385; nonmetallic minerals, down 257 carloads to 32,826; and farm products excluding grain and food, down 74 carloads to 16,391.Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported 87,956 carloads and 71,747 intermodal units for the week, up 4.8 percent and 4.4 percent, respectively. Mexican railroads reported 20,925 carloads, down 6.2 percent, and 17,779 intermodal units, down 0.8 percent year over year.Through the first 51 weeks of 2018:• U.S. railroads posted total combined traffic of 27,701,814 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 3.6 percent versus last year;• Canadian railroads logged cumulative volume of 7,738,993 carloads, containers and trailers, up 3.8 percent; and• Mexican railroads reported cumulative volume of 1,983,224 carloads and intermodal units.
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