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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. rail traffic down, Canadian traffic up in Week 29


U.S. railroads logged a 4.9 percent decline in carload and intermodal volumes for the week ending July 20 compared with the same week last year, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

Total carloads for the week were 254,434 units, down 4.2 percent, while intermodal volume was 271,576 containers and trailers, down 5.6 percent.

Three of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR follows on a weekly basis posted increases during the week. They were petroleum and petroleum products, up 1,018 carloads to 12,121; miscellaneous, up 488 carloads to 10,592; and motor vehicles and parts, up 96 carloads to 13,972.

Commodity groups that logged decreases included coal, down 7,347 carloads, to 78,583; metallic ores and metals, down 1,754 carloads, to 22,400; and grain, down 1,090 carloads, to 22,705.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported increases in carload and intermodal volumes — carloads rose 2.6 percent to 82,486 units and intermodal climbed 3.4 percent to 71,482 containers and trailers — for the week ending July 20 versus the same week in 2018.

However, Mexican railroads posted decreases for the week: Carloads were down 3.4 percent to 21,169 units, while intermodal volume dipped 1.2 percent to 17,786 trailers and containers.

For the first 29 weeks of 2019 compared with the same period a year ago:
• U.S. railroads reported 14,978,856 carloads and intermodal units, down 3.4 percent;
• Canadian railroads reported 4,373,129 carloads, containers and trailers, up 2.1 percent; and
• Mexican railroads reported 1,079,578 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 3.4 percent.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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