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Rail News Home Short Lines & Regionals

10/18/2004



Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

Small roads' year-to-date traffic up more than 10 percent, RMI says



The year-long rise in Class Is' traffic and short-line marketing efforts are paying off in additional carloads for many small roads. Between the weeks ending Sept. 5 and Oct. 2, regionals and short lines increased carloads 8.5 percent to 295,423 units compared with similar 2003 data, according to RMI's RailConnect Index® of short-line traffic.

The small roads increased carloads of ores, metals, and stone, clay and aggregates 33.8 percent, 32.9 percent and 20 percent, respectively. In addition, intermodal moves rose 27 percent to 55,096 units.

However, grain, and farm and food product carloads dropped 18.5 percent and 17.3 percent, respectively, compared with last year.

Year to date (through Oct. 2), short lines increased carloads 10.5 percent to 2,626,603 units compared with a similar 2003 period.

Intermodal loads led the traffic spike, increasing 30 percent to 77,171 units. In addition, the small roads moved more carloads of waste and scrap materials (up 19.5 percent to 88,914 units); metals and products (up 17.5 percent to 164,734 units); stone, clay and aggregates (up 14.8 percent to 209,198 units); and ores (up 14 percent to 236,899 units).

Farm and food products, and grain were the only commodities registering traffic declines at 6.2 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively.

Introduced in August, the RailConnect Index provides a summary of small-road traffic data gleaned from about 180 U.S. and Canadian regionals and short lines.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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