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Rail News Home Short Lines & Regionals

8/23/2005



Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

Short-line carloads up 9.2 percent in the second quarter, RMI says



North American Class Is are moving about 1 percent more carloads in 2005 on a year-over-year basis, but small roads are registering a much more dramatic traffic increase. During the second quarter, short-line carloads rose 9.2 percent compared with second-quarter 2004, according to RMI’s RailConnect Index® Quarterly Analysis of Traffic Statistics. In addition, small roads posted a double-digit increase in first-half carloads compared with the same 2004 period.

First-half intermodal, stone/clay/aggregates, metals/products and chemicals carloads rose 25.6 percent, 24.8 percent, 24.5 percent and 12.8 percent, respectively, compared with first-half 2004. Only four commodities registered carload declines: “other” (10.4 percent), coal (2.7 percent), motor vehicles (2.6 percent) and grain (0.2 percent).

“We expect that the second half may be even more beneficial for short lines than the first,” said RMI Chairman Pete Kleifgen in a prepared statement.

The housing market and intermodal industry will continue to grow at a robust pace, and recent signs in the grain market indicate a rebound, RMI officials predict.

In addition, if “Powder River Basin service problems and maintenance issues are resolved, coal comparisons may improve,” officials said.

RMI compiles traffic data for the RailConnect Index from about 220 North American regional, short line and terminal switching railroads.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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