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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

Carloads rose for RailAmerica, fell for Genesee & Wyoming in October


Today, Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (GWI) and RailAmerica Inc. reported traffic totals for October. GWI acquired RailAmerica on Oct. 1, at which time control of RailAmerica was placed into a voting trust until the Surface Transportation Board issues its final decision on the transaction, perhaps in the fourth quarter or in first-quarter 2013.

Last month, GWI's carloads totaled 80,241, down 4.8 percent compared with October 2011. Same-railroad traffic dropped 6.5 percent.

Among the commodity categories that registered declines: farm and food products at 31.3 percent, metals at 11.9 percent, coal and coke at 9.2 percent, and minerals and stone at 2.6 percent.

Farm and food products traffic was impacted by reduced shipments in the Australia Region due to an accelerated shipping schedule earlier this year a mechanical failure at an export grain terminal in Adelaide, South Australia; coal and coke traffic was driven down by softer carloads in the Ohio and Illinois regions; and metals traffic was affected by fewer shipments in the Rail Link Region, GWI officials said in a prepared statement.

Meanwhile, RailAmerica's October carloads totaled 75,833, up 6.2 percent year over year. Same-railroad carloads increased 4.2 percent.

The company registered gains in seven of 12 commodity groups, with large increases posted by motor vehicles (58.5 percent), agricultural products (40.4 percent), petroleum (38.1 percent), chemicals (14.9 percent) and "other" traffic (61.7 percent).

"Agricultural products were up in all regions, with particular strength in the West and Midwest regions," RailAmerica officials said in a prepared statement. "Shipments in the other category were up in all regions, other than the West Region, which was slightly down. The other category includes crude oil, which accounted for a large portion of the increase compared to October 2011."

GWI owns 66 regionals and short lines in the United States, Australia, Canada, Netherlands and Belgium; RailAmerica operates 45 regionals and short lines in the United States and Canada.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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