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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. rail traffic dips while Canadian carloads tick up


Although rail traffic in the United States continued to decline during the week ending Oct. 8, Canadian railroads logged an increase in carloads.

Total U.S. carloads for the week was 264,165 units, a 5.9 percent decrease compared with the same week last year, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported yesterday. U.S. intermodal volume also fell 6.4 percent to 257,624 containers and trailers. Combined traffic for the week declined 6.1 percent to 521,789 carloads and intermodal units.

Canadian railroads reported 80,645 carloads, up 6.7 percent, and 61,796 intermodal units, down 1.2 percent.

Two of the 10 U.S. carload commodity groups that AAR tracks posted an increase compared with the same 2015 week: grain, which increased 8.2 percent to 26,845 carloads; and motor vehicles and parts, up 6.2 percent to 18,946 carloads.

Commodity groups that declined included petroleum and petroleum products, which fell 29.8 percent; nonmetallic minerals, down 9.5 percent; and coal, down 8.3 percent.

For the first 40 weeks of the year, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 10,001,381 carloads, down 10.4 percent year over year, along with 10,341,236 intermodal units, down 3.3 percent.

The total combined weekly traffic was 20,342,617 carloads and intermodal units, a decrease of 6.9 percent compared to the first 40 weeks of 2015.

For the first 40 weeks of 2016, Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 5,205,378 carloads, containers and trailers, down 5.7 percent.

Mexican railroads reported 15,014 carloads for the week, down 4 percent, and 13,160 intermodal units, down 1.8 percent. For the first 40 weeks of 2016, cumulative volume on Mexican railroads was 1,077,531 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 2.5 percent.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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