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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. railroads registered higher carload volume in Week 20


U.S. railroads logged mixed traffic results for the week ending May 18, with carload activity up and intermodal down compared with volumes during the same week in 2018, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

Total combined U.S. rail traffic for the week was 536,358 carloads and intermodal units, down 1.8 percent. Railroads registered a combined total of 267,006 carloads, up 2.2 percent, and a combined total of 269,352 intermodal containers and trailers, down 5.5 percent versus a year ago.

Five of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR tracks on a weekly basis posted increases. They included coal, up 5,696 carloads to 84,256; petroleum and petroleum products, up 2,511 carloads to 13,165; and chemicals, up 1,794 carloads to 33,646.

Commodity groups that registered decreases during the week included nonmetallic minerals, down 3,657 carloads to 37,190; forest products, down 655 carloads to 9,983; and miscellaneous carloads, down 432 carloads to 9,422.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported 85,865 carloads for the week, up 2.7 percent, and 69,605 intermodal units, down 1.8 percent. Mexican railroads reported 21,080 carloads for the week, down 5.2 percent compared with the same week last year, and 17,859 intermodal units, up 6 percent.

For the first 20 weeks of 2019 compared with the same period last year:
• U.S. railroads registered total combined traffic of 10,370,466 carloads and intermodal units, down 2 percent;
• Canadian railroads registered 2,997,461 carloads, containers and trailers, up 2.3 percent; and
• Mexican railroads registered 726,350 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 4.6 percent.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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