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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. rail traffic growth continued in Week 41


U.S. railroads logged a 1.7 percent increase in carload and intermodal traffic for the week ending Oct. 13 compared with traffic a year ago, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

U.S. carload traffic rose 0.4 percent to 263,787 carloads for the week, while intermodal volume increased 3 percent to 285,970 containers and trailers compared with the same week in 2017, according to an AAR press release.

Seven of the 10 commodity groups that AAR follows on a weekly basis posted increases compared with the same week last year. They included petroleum and petroleum products, up 2,824 carloads to 11,783; metallic ores and metals, up 815 carloads to 23,128; and miscellaneous carloads, up 387 carloads to 10,332.

Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with a year ago were nonmetallic minerals, down 2,849 carloads to 35,721; chemicals, down 514 carloads to 30,416; and forest products, down 34 carloads to 9,927.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported 85,249 carloads for the week, up 6.3 percent, and 69,835 intermodal units, down 2.3 percent compared with the same week in 2017. Mexican railroads reported 20,232 carloads for the week, down 4 percent compared with the same week last year, and 19,510 intermodal units, down 5.9 percent.

For the first 41 weeks of 2018:
• U.S. railroads reported total combined traffic of 22,184,558 carloads and intermodal units, up 3.9 percent compared with the year-ago period;
• Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 6,155,522 carloads, containers and trailers, up 3.6 percent compared with the same period a year ago; and
• Mexican railroads reported cumulative volume of 1,586,508 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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