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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. rail traffic up 2.8 percent in Week 32


U.S. railroads posted a 2.8 percent increase in traffic during the week ending Aug. 11 compared with the same week in 2017, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

Total carloads for the week rose 1.8 percent to 271,718 units, while intermodal volume increased 3.8 percent to 285,169 containers and trailers compared a year ago, AAR announced in a press release.

Seven of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR tracks on a weekly basis logged increases compared with a year ago. They included petroleum and petroleum products, up 3,212 carloads to 11,897; grain, up 2,690 carloads to 21,770; and metallic ores and metals, up 1,367 carloads to 23,817.

The commodity groups that posted decreases during the week were coal, down 3,937 carloads to 90,645; nonmetallic minerals, down 1,084 carloads to 38,287; and miscellaneous carloads, down 227 carloads to 9,403.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads' carload volume climbed 7.1 percent to 79,925 units during the week, but intermodal volume fell 2.4 percent to 69,123 containers and trailers compared with a year ago.

Mexican railroads posted 19,898 carloads for the week, down 9.8 percent compared with the same week last year, and 19,199 intermodal units, down 4.1 percent. 

For the first 32 weeks of 2018:
• U.S. rail traffic was 17,185,288 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 3.9 percent compared to last year;
• Canadian rail traffic was 4,742,225 carloads, containers and trailers, up 3.9 percent; and
• Mexican rail traffic was 1,229,727 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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