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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. roads close in on annual intermodal-traffic record, AAR says


As 2002 draws to a close, U.S. railroads are poised to set an intermodal-traffic record for the sixth time in the past seven years, according to an Association of American Railroads statement released Dec. 27.

Through the year's first 51 weeks, U.S. roads moved 9,228,856 trailers and containers, a 4.5 percent increase compared with the same 2001 period and 0.6 percent more than the roads moved during all of 2000 — the previous annual traffic-record year.

The annual carload-traffic data isn't as encouraging. Through 51 weeks, U.S. roads moved 16,901,616 carloads, a 0.8 percent drop compared with last year.

Canadian railroads are experiencing the same type of year, AAR said. Through 51 weeks, the roads moved 3,053,747 carloads, down 2.7 percent, and 2,008,002 trailers and containers, up 11.8 percent compared with the same 2001 period.

On a combined cumulative-volume basis through 51 weeks, 16 reporting U.S. and Canadian railroads moved 19,955,363 carloads, a 1.1 percent decline, and 11,236,858 trailers and containers, a 5.7 percent increase compared with last year, and the first time U.S. and Canadian roads exceeded 11 million intermodal units, AAR said.

Meanwhile, Mexican road TFM S.A. de C.V. through 51 weeks moved 542,676 carloads, a 3.3 percent rise, and 189,912 trailers or containers, a 10.7 percent increase compared with a similar 2001 period.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/30/2002