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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. rail traffic grows as coal shipments rise

In Week No. 14, American railroads' traffic grew 7 percent year over year.
Photo – AAR

U.S. railroads hauled 513,022 carloads and intermodal units for the week ending April 8, a 7 percent increase compared with the same week a year ago, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported yesterday.

Railroads reported 252,056 carloads, up 9.8 percent year over year. Intermodal volume clocked in at 260,966 containers and trailers, up 4.6 percent compared with the year-ago period.

Five of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR tracks weekly posted increases compared with the same week in 2016. Those included coal, up 29 percent to 75,078 carloads; grain, up 26 percent to 23,778 carloads; and nonmetallic minerals, up 7.6 percent to 37,582 carloads.

Commodity groups that posted decreases included petroleum and petroleum products, down 15.7 percent to 10,020 carloads; metallic ores and metals, down 1.4 percent to 20,941 carloads; and forest products, down 1 percent to 9,929 carloads.

For the first 14 weeks of 2017, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 3,576,158 carloads, up 6 percent from the same point last year; and 3,648,646 intermodal units, up 1.7 percent. Total combined U.S. traffic for the period came in at 7,224,804 carloads and intermodal units, a 3.8 percent year-over-year increase.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported 77,948 carloads and 62,669 intermodal units for the 14th week. Both figures marked a 10.2 percent increase compared with traffic in the same week in 2016.

Canadian roads' cumulative traffic for the first 14 weeks of 2017 rose 9 percent to 1,959,582 carloads, containers and trailers compared with the same period a year ago.

Mexican railroads logged 15,887 carloads for the week, up 3.8 percent, and 10,768 intermodal units, down 3.7 percent. Cumulative volume moved by Mexican railroads during the first 14 years of 2017 fell 0.3 percent to 369,206 carloads and intermodal units compared with the same period in 2016.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/13/2017