UNDER SCRUTINY

MIDYEAR REPORT, RAILWAY AGE JULY 2022 ISSUE: Compared with the intense examination to
which Class I freight railroads have been
subjected by the Surface Transportation
Board and other industry stakeholders,
dealing with the global COVID-19
pandemic was a relatively calm stroll in the
park on a warm spring day. (With Contributing Editors Frank N. Wilner and Jason Seidl)

Rail Insights 2022 Conference: Key Takeaways From Key Industry Leaders

FINANCIAL EDGE, RAILWAY AGE JULY 2022 ISSUE: At Railway Age’s Rail Insights 2022 conference, there was a key set of industry stakeholders talking about the state of North American rail.

U.S. Rail Traffic: ‘A Mix of Red, Yellow and Green,’ AAR

“As conjecture grows about the direction of the U.S. economy, June rail traffic doesn’t offer definitive answers on whether a recession is looming or not,” Association of American Railroads’ Senior Vice President John T. Gray reported on July 6.

Railway Age: July 2022 Digital Edition On Line

The July 2022 issue of Railway Age is available digitally, with a midyear report on the state of the freight rail industry plus the 51st Annual Car & Locomotive Repair Directory.

U.S. Rail System Still Deteriorating, On Balance

We’re now in the second half of 2022, when the four major U.S. Class I’s have committed to turning their operations around, but the current state of play is not encouraging. Only Union Pacific has made any progress in recent months, but that has been from a low base and fading somewhat over the past two weeks. We would regard UP and Norfolk Southern as now in a “steady state” and it’s the other two we’re more worried about in terms of trajectory.

Analysis: ‘Big 4’ Revised STB Service Recovery Plans

The four largest U.S. freight railroad companies—BNSF, CSX, Norfolk Southern, Union Pacific—all reported, per the request of the Surface Transportation Board, supplemental information about their efforts to improve service and network fluidity. This is, of course part, of an ongoing STB service investigation with public hearings held back on April 26 and 27 of this year.

(Photograph Courtesy of NS)

Week 25: U.S. Carloads, Intermodal Down (Again)

For the week ending June 25, 2022 (Week 25), U.S. rail traffic was 493,374 carloads and intermodal units, down 4.4% from the prior-year period, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported June 29. Class I railroads hauled 229,857 carloads, down 3.1%, and 263,517 containers and trailers, down 5.5%. Year-to-date, carloads were virtually flat (down 0.1%) and intermodal volume fell 3.5% compared with the same point last year.

AAR: Carloads Rise a Little, Intermodal Falls a Lot

U.S. rail traffic for the week ending June 18, 2022 (Week 24) was 501,207 carloads and intermodal units, down 2.5% compared with the same week last year. Total carloads were 232,921, up 0.4%, while U.S. intermodal volume of 268,286 containers and trailers fell 4.9%. Year-to-date, carloads improved an almost negligible 0.02%, but intermodal dropped 6.3%, compared to the prior-year period.

STB Sets 3Q22 RCAF

The Surface Transportation Board (STB) has set the third-quarter 2022 RCAF (Rail Cost Adjustment Factor), described as “an index formulated to represent changes in railroad costs incurred by the nation’s largest railroads over a specified period of time.”

(Photograph Courtesy of Norfolk Southern)

Week 23: U.S. Rail Traffic Behind 2021 Levels, Flat With 2019

U.S. freight rail traffic dipped again in Week 23, compared with the prior-year period, as carloads were down 2.8% and intermodal fell 4.4%, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported for the week ending June 11, 2022.

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