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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

Genesee & Wyoming railroads, other small roads registered carload gains in May


In May, Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (GWI) subsidiary railroads handled 82,319 carloads, up 12.7 percent compared with May 2010 traffic. Same-railroad carloads — which exclude traffic generated by the FreightLink subsidiary in Australia that GWI acquired in December 2010 — rose 2.6 percent.

The monthly gain was driven by an 11.8 percent increase in farm and food products traffic (primarily corn shipments in the Illinois Region), and an 11 percent rise in minerals and stone traffic (primarily stone and salt moves in the New York/Ohio/Pennsylvania Region). Those gains partially offset a 17.3 percent drop in metals carloads and 10.9 percent decline in auto and auto parts traffic, according to GWI, which operates 63 regionals and short lines in the United States, Canada, Australia, Netherlands and Belgium.

May was a good traffic month for other U.S. and Canadian small railroads, as well, maintaining gains posted in the year’s first four months. Year-to-date through May 28 (or 2011’s 21st week), 338 regionals and short lines handled 2.2 million carloads, up 8.8 percent compared with traffic from the same 2010 period, according to RMI’s RailConnect Index of Short Line Traffic.

Five commodity groups posted double-digit gains: Motor vehicles and equipment carloads jumped 37.1 percent to 31,078 units; intermodal traffic soared 24.7 percent to 162,199 units; chemical carloads rose 12.3 percent to 368,848 units; stone/clay/aggregate loads increased 12.1 percent to 237,379 units; and grain carloads went up 10.9 percent to 302,896 units.

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More News from 6/14/2011