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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. roads register traffic gains in the year's first half, AAR says


Halfway through 2005, U.S. railroads remain ahead of last year’s blistering traffic pace. During the first half, the roads moved 8.69 million carloads and 5.67 million intermodal loads, a 1.7 percent and 6.2 percent increase, respectively, compared with 2004’s first six months, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR). Total estimated volume of 825.4 billion ton-miles rose 2.5 percent.

During the second quarter, U.S. roads moved 4.37 million carloads, up 0.9 percent, and 2.89 million trailers and containers, up 4.9 percent compared with the same 2004 period.

The roads’ latest monthly figures increased on a year-over-year basis, too. June carloads totaling 1.65 million units and intermodal loads totaling 1.1 million units rose 0.1 percent and 4 percent, respectively, compared with June 2004.

But Canadian railroads had opposite traffic fortunes last month. The roads’ carloads totaling 373,570 units dropped 1.9 percent and intermodal loads totaling 209,681 units decreased 0.4 percent compared with June 2004.

During the second quarter and first half, Canadian railroads struggled with carloads but posted intermodal traffic gains. Quarterly and first-half carloads totaling 999,962 units and 1.99 million units, respectively, dropped 2 percent and 0.1 percent compared with similar 2004 periods. Quarterly and first-half intermodal loads totaling 558,056 units and 1.09 million units, respectively, rose 0.2 percent and 2.5 percent.

On a combined cumulative-volume basis through the year’s first half, 15 reporting U.S. and Canadian roads moved 10.67 million carloads, up 1.3 percent, and 6.76 million trailers and containers, up 5.6 percent compared with the same 2004 period.

In Mexico, TFM S.A. de C.V. remained ahead of last year’s carload traffic through the first half despite declines in the second quarter and June. TFM’s first-half carloads increased 0.7 percent, but second-quarter and June carloads fell 2 percent and 3.1 percent, respectively, compared with the same 2004 periods. Meanwhile, TFM’s intermodal loads rose 7.2 percent, 9.9 percent and 0.1 percent during the first half, quarter and June, respectively.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/8/2005