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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. rail traffic continues slide, Canada's carloads tick up, Mexico's intermodal volume increases in Week 35


U.S. railroads logged a 5 percent decrease in rail traffic during the week ending Sept. 3 compared with traffic during the same week last year, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported this week.

Total U.S. railroads carloads for the week were 273,117 units, down 4.9 percent compared with the same week in 2015, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 265,709 containers and trailers, down 5 percent.

Five of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR monitors on a weekly basis reflected increases during the week. They included grain, up 30.2 percent to 24,455 carloads; miscellaneous carloads, up 24.1 percent to 11,425 carloads; and motor vehicles and parts, up 5.5 percent to 19,557 carloads.

Commodity groups reflecting decreases during the week included petroleum and petroleum products, down 24.4 percent to 10,770 carloads; coal, down 16.2 percent to 90,575 carloads; and forest products, down 6.8 percent to 10,631 carloads.

Canadian railroads posted 75,431 carloads for the week, up 0.4 percent, and 63,715 intermodal units, down 0.4 percent compared with the same week in 2015. Mexican railroads reported 13,841 carloads for the week, down 10.5 percent compared with the same week last year, and 11,908 intermodal units, up 5.2 percent.

For the first 35 weeks of the year, U.S. railroads' total rail traffic volume fell 7.2 percent to 17,711,250 carloads and intermodal units compared with the same period last year. Canadian railroads' cumulative traffic volume during the first eight months of 2016 declined 6.9 percent to 4,505,714 carloads, containers and trailers compared with traffic during the same period a year ago.

Mexican railroads' cumulative traffic volume slipped 2.2 percent to 940,177 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers for the eight-month period this year compared with a year ago.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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