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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. rail traffic climbs on intermodal gain in Week 47


U.S. freight railroads logged 534,607 carloads and intermodal units during the week ending Nov. 21, a 2.5% increase compared with the same week a year ago, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

Carload traffic fell 7.2% to 233,478, while intermodal volume climbed 11.5% to 301,129 containers and trailers.

Three of 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase during the week. They were grain, up 2,976 carloads to 25,187; farm products excluding grain, and food, up 1,515 to 16,890; and chemicals, up 920 to 32,721.

Commodity groups that logged decreases during the week included coal, down 12,672 carloads to 63,032; metallic ores and metals, down 3,330 to 19,680; and nonmetallic minerals, down 3,182 to 29,888.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported 19,386 carloads, up 18.3%, and 78,838 containers and trailers, up 21%, during the week. Mexican railroads posted 19,386 carloads, down 3.4%, and 13,812 containers and trailers, down 17.7%.

Individual Class Is reported the following carload volume for the week ending Nov. 21 compared with the same week in 2019: BNSF Railway Co., 88,361 carloads, down from 100,199; Canadian Pacific, 35,863, down from 36,541; CN, 61,241, up from 47,135; CSX, 65,885, down from 69,838; Kansas City Southern, 13,987, down from 15,987; Norfolk Southern Railway, 55,377, down from 61,275; and Union Pacific Railroad, 84,813, down from 86,316.

For the first 47 weeks of 2020 compared with the same period in 2019:
• U.S. railroads logged 22,268,906 carloads and intermodal units, down 8.5%;
• Canadian railroads posted 6,742,404 carloads, containers and trailers, down 5.2%; and
• Mexican railroads reported 1,624,385 carloads and intermodal units, down 10.2%.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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