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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

Small roads' carloads up 3.8 percent in 2006's first half, RMI says


While the Class Is increased traffic 3 percent during 2006’s first half, North American short lines boosted carloads 3.8 percent compared with first-half 2005, according to RMI’s RailConnect Index® Analysis of Traffic Statistics.

Based on data from 274 regionals, short lines and terminal switching railroads, RMI found small roads’ metals and products traffic increased 9.5 percent; stone, clay and aggregates carloads rose 8.3 percent; farm and food (excluding grain) traffic went up 8 percent; and waste and scrap materials moves increased 7.5 percent.

“The good news for short lines is that excluding bulk cargos and intermodal movements, short line carload growth was up 2.6 percent,” said RMI Chairman Pete Kleifgen in a prepared statement. “While intermodal accounted for 21 percent of short line year-over-year growth, coal and grain made up the balance.”

During the first half, terminated traffic accounted for 41 percent; originated traffic, 35 percent; local traffic, 14 percent; and bridge traffic, 10 percent of all carloads.

In the second quarter, short-line traffic increased 5.1 percent compared with the same 2005 period. First-quarter traffic only increased 2.5 percent, RMI said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/2/2006