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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. rail traffic inched up 2.6 percent in Week No. 6

For 2017's sixth week, U.S. intermodal volume rose 1.5 percent year over year.
Photo – AAR

For the week ending Feb. 11, U.S. railroads moved 518,431 carloads and intermodal units, marking a 2.6 percent increase compared with the same week last year, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported yesterday.

Weekly carloads climbed 3.9 percent to 253,670 units, while intermodal volume came in at 264,761 containers and trailers, representing a 1.5 percent year-over-year increase.

Three of the 10 commodity groups tracked by AAR on a weekly basis posted an increase compared to the same week in 2016. They were coal, up 18.7 percent to 89,318 carloads; nonmetallic minerals, up 4.2 percent to 30,850 carloads; and metallic ores and metals, up 0.8 percent to 19,348 carloads.

Commodity groups that posted decreases included petroleum and petroleum products, down 13.6 percent to 9,763 carloads; grain, down 8.5 percent to 20,477 carloads; and forest products down 7 percent to 9,614 carloads.

For the first six weeks of 2017, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 1,520,237 carloads, up 4.5 percent from the same point last year. Cumulative intermodal volume slipped 0.4 percent to 1,557,309 units.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads' weekly traffic rose 7.6 percent to 76,471 carloads, while intermodal volume increased 2.3 percent to 62,036 units. For 2017's first six weeks, Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 829,412 carloads, containers and trailers, up 6.6 percent.

For their part, Mexican railroads reported 15,611 carloads for the week, down 1.7 percent, and 10,800 intermodal units, down 7.6 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first six weeks of 2017 came in at 148,030 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 8.7 percent from the same point last year.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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