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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

Regional/short-line carloads up more than 2 percent through February, RMI data shows


Two months into 2008, U.S. and Canadian regionals and short lines remained well ahead of last year's traffic pace. A total of 316 reporting railroads handled 1.07 million carloads, up 2.4 percent compared with traffic from the same 2007 period, according to RMI's RailConnect Index of Short-Line Traffic through the week ending March 1.

Ores traffic totaling 26,973 carloads jumped 28.3 percent and metals and products carloads totaling 107,185 units increased 10.4 percent, while grain (131,303 units), farm and food products (46,945 units) and petroleum and coke (52,821 units) traffic each rose about 10 percent year over year. Chemical (154,099 units) traffic increased about 4 percent.

On the down side, lumber and forest products traffic totaling 42,376 carloads tumbled 21.5 percent, paper products traffic totaling 69,616 carloads fell 11.1 percent, motor vehicles/equipment traffic totaling 16,857 units dropped 7.2 percent and intermodal traffic totaling 127,740 units decreased 3.5 percent compared with totals from the same 2007 period.

Stone, clay and aggregates traffic (81,012 units), and "all other" traffic (24,540 units) was virtually flat.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/20/2008