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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. railroads report another dip in traffic


U.S. freight railroads logged 520,589 carloads and intermodal units for the week ending Dec. 14, down 8.5 percent compared with the same week last year, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

Total carloads for the week declined 9 percent to 243,290 units, while intermodal volume fell 8 percent to 277,299 containers and trailers.

Three of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR tracks on a weekly basis posted increases. They included motor vehicles and parts, up 760 carloads to 18,061; miscellaneous carloads, up 208 carloads to 10,435; and petroleum and petroleum products, up 93 carloads to 13,643.

Commodity groups that posted decreases for the week included coal, down 18,747 carloads to 72,320; grain, down 1,884 carloads to 20,709; and metallic ores and metals, down 1,287 carloads to 22,633.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads logged 81,556 carloads for the week, down 3.7 percent, and 69,669 intermodal units, down 4.2 percent compared with the same week in 2018. Mexican railroads reported 19,593 carloads for the week, down 7.6 percent compared with the same week last year, and 18,355 intermodal units, down 4.9 percent.

For the first 50 weeks of 2019 compared with the same period in 2018:
• U.S. railroads reported total combined traffic of 25,823,657 carloads and intermodal units, down 4.8 percent;
• Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 7,552,348 carloads, containers and trailers, down 0.4 percent;
• Mexican railroads reported combined traffic of 1,888,472 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 2.9 percent; and
• North American rail traffic amounted to 35,264,477 carloads and intermodal units, down 3.8 percent.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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