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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

RAC report documents Canada's rail trends in 2014

The Railway Association of Canada (RAC) has released "Rail Trends 2015," its annual report on the performance of Canada's freight and passenger railroad sector.

The report contains a rolling 10-year review of financial and statistical aspects of the industry. The 2015 publication illustrates trends in 2014.

"Freight railways worked collaboratively with supply chain partners — including ports, terminal operators and others — to transport more traffic than ever before, including the record grain crop," RAC President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Bourque wrote in the report's opening message.

"In addition, Canada's passenger railroads moved millions of travelers while reducing congestion and emissions," he added.

Among the report's findings for 2014:
• Freight-rail traffic, as measured by revenue ton-miles (RTM), rose to a record 306.3 billion RTMs, up 5.2 percent from the previous year.
• The number of carloads originated in Canada edged up by 0.1 percent compared with 2013's total, led by intermodal goods and agricultural products.
• Tonnage per carload declined 5.4 percent, as railroads carried fewer heavier commodities such as coal and minerals.
• The average length of haul by CN, Canadian Pacific and short-line railroads increased 4.2 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively. The average number of cars per freight train increased 1.0 percent to a record 100 cars.
• The total number of rail commuters in the three provinces with commuter services — British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec — rose 2.2 percent compared with the previous year. However, the average number of commuters per train declined 3.7 percent, year over year.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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