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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. rail traffic fell 5.2 percent in Week 33

Only two of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR tracks on a weekly basis posted increases in Week 33.
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U.S. freight-rail traffic continued to fall in the United States during the week ending Aug. 17, with railroads logging a 5.2 percent decrease in carloads and intermodal units compared with the same week last year, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

Total carloads for the week were 264,564 units, down 4.9 percent, while intermodal volume was 273,053 containers and trailers were down 5.4 percent.

Only two of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR tracks on a weekly basis posted increases. They were petroleum and petroleum products, up 1,115 carloads to 12,004; and chemicals, up 696 carloads to 33,233.

Commodity groups logging decreases included coal, down 7,607 carloads to 85,454; grain, down 3,458 carloads to 19,840; and nonmetallic minerals, down 1,349 carloads to 37,905.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported mixed traffic during the week, with 81,162 carloads, down 1.4 percent, and 76,265 intermodal units, up 3.8 percent. Mexican railroads posted 20,491 carloads for the week, down 2.9 percent, and 18,736 intermodal units, down 2 percent.

For the first 33 weeks of 2019 compared with the same period in 2018:
• U.S. railroads reported 17,125,719 carloads and intermodal units, down 3.5 percent;
• Canadian railroads logged 4,994,334 carloads, containers and trailers, up 2 percent; and
• Mexican railroads posted 1,235,445 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 3.3 percent.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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