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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. rail traffic slump continues in week 39


Total U.S. railroad traffic fell 4 percent to 549,171 carloads and intermodal units for the week ending Oct. 1 compared with the same week a year ago, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

U.S. railroads logged 277,157 carloads, down 4.4 percent for the week compared with last year's carload activity. Total intermodal containers and trailers clocked in at 272,014 units, down 3.5 percent.

Five of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR tracks weekly were up compared with the same week in 2015. They included grain, up 10.6 percent to 27,626 carloads; motor vehicles and parts, up 6.2 percent to 19,755 carloads; and metallic ores and metals, up 3.8 percent to 22,524 carloads.

Commodity groups reflecting decreases included miscellaneous carloads, down 25 percent to 9,611 carloads; petroleum and petroleum products, down 22.2 percent to 10,320 carloads; and coal, down 10.3 percent to 91,943 carloads.

Canadian railroads posted 84,666 carloads for the week, up 9.6 percent, and 62,932 intermodal units, down 2.4 percent compared with the same week in 2015. Mexican railroads posted increases for both carload and intermodal traffic: carloads rose 1.1 percent to 15,907 units, while intermodal jumped 6.2 percent to 13,268 units for the week.

For the first 39 weeks of 2016, U.S. railroads reported combined total traffic of 19,820,828 carloads and intermodal units, down 6.9 percent compared with traffic during the same period last year.

Canadian railroads' cumulative volume for the period was 5,062,937 carloads, containers and trailers, down 5.9 percent.

Mexican railroads' cumulative traffic for the period was 1,049,357 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 2.4 percent from the same point last a year ago.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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