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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. rail traffic down 5.6 percent in Week 28


U.S. rail traffic has continued its downward trend so far this month, with railroads posting a combined 5.6 percent decline to 527,908 carloads and intermodal units for the week ending July 13 compared with the same week a year ago, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

Total carloads for the week fell 4 percent to 260,762 units, while intermodal volume plummeted 7.2 percent to 267,146 containers and trailers.

Only two of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR tracks on a weekly basis logged increases. They were petroleum and petroleum products, up 1,140 carloads to 13,098; and chemicals, up 105 carloads to 32,859.

Commodity groups that posted decreases included coal, down 3,858 carloads to 80,874; nonmetallic minerals, down 2,728 carloads to 36,661; and motor vehicles and parts, down 2,005 carloads to 13,080.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported mixed traffic results for the week, with carloads down 1.3 percent to 81,572 units, but intermodal volume up 5.1 percent to 71,573 containers and trailers.

Mexican railroads reported steady results for the week: Carloads were down 0.9 percent to 20,676 units and intermodal containers and trailers were up 0.3 percent to 18,038 units.

For the first 28 weeks of 2019 compared with the same period a year ago:
• U.S. railroads logged 14,452,846 carloads and intermodal units, down 3.3 percent;
• Canadian railroads reported 4,219,161 carloads, containers and trailers, up 2.1 percent; and
• Mexican railroads posted 1,040,623 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 3.4 percent.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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