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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

RailAmerica's carloads fall in March and the first quarter


Last month, RailAmerica Inc.’s subsidiary railroads moved 111,915 carloads, a 5.2 percent decrease compared with March 2005.

The holding company gained carloads from four former Alcoa Inc. short lines acquired in October, but lost carloads from the San Luis and Rio Grande Railroad and three Alberta short lines that were sold earlier this year. The net result was a year-over-year decrease of 2,133 carloads.

On a “same railroad” basis — excluding carloads associated with railroads or portions of railroads sold or acquired after Jan. 1, 2005 — RailAmerica’s March carloads totaled 108,676 units, a 3.6 percent decline compared with March 2005. Nine out of 14 commodity groups registered year-over-year drops.

During the first quarter, RailAmerica’s carloads fell 0.6 percent to 327,993 units but same railroad carloads rose 0.2 percent to 316,213 units compared with the same 2005 period.

RailAmerica owns and operates 42 regionals and short lines in the United States and Canada.