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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. rail traffic decline continued in Week 16


U.S. railroads' traffic volume fell 2.4 percent to 526,141carloads and intermodal units for the week ending April 20 compared with the same week in 2018, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

Railroads logged 262,011 carloads, down 0.9 percent, and 264,130 containers and trailers, down 3.9 percent compared with a year ago.

Only three of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR tracks weekly posted increases: coal, up 3,738 carloads to 84,216; petroleum and petroleum products, up 3,536 carloads to 12,889; and miscellaneous carloads, up 313 carloads to 9,654.

Commodity groups that posted decreases during the week included nonmetallic minerals, down 3,814 carloads to 35,562; metallic ores and metals, down 2,174 carloads to 21,849; and motor vehicles and parts, down 1,707 carloads to 16,403.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads posted 3,068 carloads for the week, up 3.2 percent, and 70,789 intermodal units, up 10.7 percent compared with the same week in 2018. Mexican railroads logged 17,628 carloads for the week, down 16.8 percent, and 14,396 intermodal units, down 14.4 percent.

For the first 16 weeks of this year versus the same period a year ago:
• U.S. railroads reported total combined traffic of 8,236,566 carloads and intermodal units, down 1.8 percent;
• Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 2,363,294 carloads, containers and trailers, up 2.3 percent; and
• Mexican railroads reported 573,008 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 6 percent.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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