Coal leads weekly rail traffic gains

Written by Stuart Chirls, Senior Editor
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Coal led all gainers as rail traffic in the U.S. totaled 521,607 carloads and intermodal units for the week ending March 4, up 1.8 percent from the same week in 2016.

Total carloads came to 262,743, up 6.3 percent; intermodal volume dropped to 258,864 containers and trailers, off 2.3 percent from a year ago, according to the Association of American Railroads.

Five of 10 commodities posted an increase led by coal, at 18.7 percent to 85,183 carloads; grain, 7.5 percent to 23,991 carloads, and miscellaneous carloads, 7.3 percent to 10,635 carloads.

Commodity groups that fell for the week included petroleum and petroleum products, 8.3 percent to 9,864 carloads; chemicals, 2.7 percent to 32,057 carloads, and motor vehicles and parts, 1.6 percent to 18,593 carloads.

For the nine weeks to March 4, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 2,303,356 carloads, up 5 percent from the year-ago period, and 2,348,371 intermodal units, down 0.2 percent. Total combined U.S. traffic was 4,651,727 carloads and intermodal units, ahead 2.3 percent.

For 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads, carloads totaled 359,372, up 7.4 percent on the same week in 2016, and 330,483 intermodal units, off 1 percent. Total combined weekly rail traffic was 689,855 carloads and intermodal units, a gain of 3.2 percent. Volume reached 6,136,705 carloads and intermodal units, up 3 percent.

Canadian railroads reported 80,555 carloads for the week, up 12.8 percent, and 60,691 intermodal units, up 4.6 percent. For the first nine weeks of 2017 cumulative rail traffic volume gained 7.7 percent to 1,254,709 carloads, containers and trailers.

Mexican railroads reported 16,074 carloads for the week, down 0.4 percent, and 10,928 intermodal units, ahead 0.6 percent. Cumulative volume through March 4 was 230,269 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, a loss of 6.1 percent from a year ago.







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