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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. rail traffic continues slide in Week No. 3


U.S. railroads logged 490,324 carloads and intermodal units for the week ending Jan. 23, a 10.5 percent decrease in traffic compared with the same week in 2015, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) announced yesterday.

Total carloads for the week plummeted 19.5 percent to 237,190, while intermodal volume slipped 0.1 percent to 253,134 containers and trailers. Only one of the 10 carload commodity groups — miscellaneous, up 15.3 percent — posted an increase for the week.

Coal traffic plunged 35.8 percent to 74,128 carloads; petroleum and petroleum products were down 19 percent to 12,409 carloads; and metallic ores and metals fell 16.2 percent to 19,418 carloads compared with a year ago.

Canadian railroads reported reported 68,677 carloads for the week, down 14.1 percent, and 59,388 intermodal units, down 0.5 percent compared with the same week in 2015. Mexican railroads posted 17,289 carloads for the week, up 2.9 percent compared with the same week last year, and 11,478 intermodal units, up 2.1 percent.

For the first three weeks of 2016, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 719,081 carloads, down 16.6 percent from the same point last year; and 775,836 intermodal units, up 2.7 percent from the same period in 2015.

Canadian railroads' cumulative traffic for the first three weeks came in at 381,833 carloads, containers and trailers, down 6.5 percent. But Mexican railroads' cumulative traffic was on the upswing with 81,405 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers — a 2.1 percent increased compared with the same period last year.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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