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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Rail traffic: U.S., Mexico down, Canada up in week 37

U.S. and Mexican railroads' traffic slump continued for the week ending Sept. 17, but Canadian railroads posted increases in both carloads and intermodal units, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

U.S. weekly traffic fell 5.1 percent to 537,904 carloads and intermodal units for the week compared with the same period last year. Total carloads rolled in at 270,336 units, down 5.3 percent compared with the same week in 2015, while intermodal volume clocked in at 267,568 containers and trailers, down 4.9 percent compared to 2015.

Three of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR follows weekly posted increases compared with the same week last year. They were miscellaneous carloads, up 21.2 percent to 11,104 carloads; farm products excluding grain, and food, up 4.9 percent to 16,544 carloads; and chemicals, up 1 percent to 30,723 carloads.

Commodity groups that posted decreases during the week included petroleum and petroleum products, down 17.4 percent to 11,633 carloads; forest products, down 13 percent to 10,013 carloads; and coal, down 12.5 percent to 90,369 carloads.

Canadian railroads posted 77,273 carloads for the week, up 3.7 percent, and 61,593 intermodal units, up 3.5 percent compared with the same week in 2015. Mexican railroads reported 14,382 carloads for the week, down 2.5 percent compared with the same week last year, and 10,376 intermodal units, down 0.2 percent.

For the first 37 weeks of 2016 compared with the same period a year ago, U.S. railroads logged a cumulative volume of 18,732,048 carloads and intermodal units, down 7.1 percent; Canadian railroads posted a cumulative volume of 4,772,966 carloads, containers and trailers, down 6.4 percent; and Mexican railroads reported a cumulative volume of 991,509 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 2.4 percent.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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