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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Transportation Services Index tumbled in March

The combined Transportation Services Index (TSI) in March was tabulated at 121.3, down 0.5 percent from February’s level and 0.9 percent from March 2015’s mark, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS).

March’s Freight TSI of 120.0 fell 0.9 percent on a month-over-month basis and 2.4 percent on a year-over-year basis. The index measures the monthly output of rail, trucking, inland waterway, pipeline and air freight service providers.

The Freight TSI’s March drop was broad in terms of mode — all of them posted decreases except for air freight, which rebounded after a significant decline in February, BTS officials said in a press release.

“The decrease was driven by continued weakness in the mining (including oil and gas well drilling, and servicing), utility and manufacturing sectors of the economy,” they said.

March’s Passenger TSI of 124.0 increased 0.4 percent from February’s level and 2.6 percent from March 2015’s mark. The index measures the monthly output of air, local transit and intercity rail service providers.

In the first quarter, the TSI decreased 0.8 percent, Freight TSI declined 1.2 percent and Passenger TSI dipped 0.2 percent from their levels set at 2015’s end.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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