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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Weekly AAR traffic figures so-so for U.S. railroads, strong for Canadian roads and sickly for TFM


During the week ending on Valentine's Day, U.S. railroads' carload total was a bit sour, but intermodal traffic was sweet. The roads moved 322,915 carloads, down 0.3 percent, and 198,844 trailers and containers, up 6.1 percent compared with the same 2003 period, according to Association of American Railroads data released Feb. 19. Estimated total weekly volume of 29 billion ton-miles rose 1.4 percent.

During the year's first six weeks, U.S. roads moved 1,936,032 carloads, up 0.9 percent, and 1,179,556 trailers an containers, up 5.8 percent compared with a similar 2003 period. Estimated total volume of 173 billion ton-miles increased 2.1 percent.

Canadian roads posted strong weekly traffic figures: Carloads (66,385) and intermodal units (40,926) rose 7.6 percent and 6.1 percent, respectively, compared with the same 2003 week.

During 2004's first six weeks, Canadian roads moved 376,897 carloads, up 2.4 percent, and 237,381 trailers and containers, down 0.1 percent compared with the same 2003 period.

On a combined cumulative-volume basis though six weeks, 15 reporting U.S. and Canadian roads moved 2,312,929 carloads, up 1.2 percent, and 1,416,937 trailers and containers, up 4.8 percent compared with last year.

In Mexico, TFM S.A. de C.V. continues to register weakening traffic. For the week ending Feb. 14, carloads (7,942) and intermodal originations (3,603) dropped 16.7 percent and 4.8 percent, respectively, compared with the same 2003 week. Through six weeks, TFM's carloads (47,364) and intermodal units (18,528) decreased 9.9 percent and 16.2 percent, respectively, compared with last year.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/20/2004