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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. railroads log meager traffic increase in week 44


U.S. railroads posted a slight increase of 0.7 percent in total rail traffic for the week ending Nov. 5 compared with the same week in 2015, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

For the week, U.S. weekly rail traffic was 543,377 carloads and intermodal units. Railroads posted total carloads of 271,262 units, down 0.4 percent, and 272,115 intermodal containers and trailers, up 1.7 percent, compared with the traffic during the same week last year.

Four of the 10 commodity groups that AAR monitors on a weekly basis reflected increases for the week compared with a year ago. They included grain, up 22 percent to 28,655 carloads; nonmetallic minerals, up 3.8 percent to 36,572 carloads; and motor vehicles and parts, up 2.9 percent to 18,403 carloads.

Commodity groups that logged decreases included petroleum and petroleum products, down 16.3 percent to 10,877 carloads; miscellaneous carloads, down 10.8 percent to 8,812 carloads; and metallic ores and metals, down 9.7 percent to 18,575 carloads.

North American rail volume for the week — on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads — totaled 367,974 carloads, up 1.3 percent compared with the same week last year, and 340,974 intermodal units, up 0.9 percent compared with last year.

Canadian railroads reported 81,260 carloads for the week, up 5.7 percent, and 57,839 intermodal units, down 3.3 percent compared with the same week in 2015. Mexican railroads posted 15,452 carloads for the week, up 8.8 percent compared with the same week last year, and 11,020 intermodal units, up 4.8 percent.

For the first 44 weeks of 2016, U.S. railroads' total combined traffic decreased 6.4 percent to 22,507,019 carloads and intermodal units compared with the same period a year ago. Canadian railroads' cumulative rail traffic volume fell 4.9 percent to 5,767,277 carloads, containers and trailers during the 44-week period. Mexican railroads' cumulative rail traffic volume slipped 2.1 percent to 1,186,868 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers for the period compared with a year ago.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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