Following a Week 47 gain attributable to timing—Thanksgiving 2018 falling one week earlier than in 2019—U.S. rail traffic fell off a cliff during Week 48—again, attributable to timing, so it’s not nearly as bad as it looks. However, all things considered, volumes for November 2019 were dismal, and the first 11 months of 2019 were nothing to write home about.
Association of American Railroads
The 47th time certainly looks like a charm, but don’t get your hopes up.
The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported U.S. rail traffic for the week ended Nov. 16, 2019, and, for this week, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 501,249 carloads and intermodal units, down 8.4% compared with the same week last year. However, our neighbors to the north and south saw slight upticks.
The Association of American Railroads (AAR) on Nov. 12 filed comments with the Surface Transportation Board (STB) regarding two NPRMs (Notice of Proposed Rulemakings): Final Offer Rate Review (FORR) and Streamlined Market Dominance Approach (SMDA). The former, AAR said, should be scrapped because it is “unlawful” and lacks standards. The latter requires substantial limitations in scope.
The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported U.S. rail traffic for the week ended Nov. 9, 2019, and, for this week, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 515,269 carloads and intermodal units, down 5.9% compared with the same week last year.
In the Association of American Railroads Nov. 6, 2019 traffic report, Senior Vice President Policy and Economics John T. Gray succinctly notes what is dragging rail freight down: “Sluggish growth abroad and trade developments are weighing on business investment, exports, and manufacturing. Unfortunately, those are precisely what drive much of the freight carried by U.S. railroads, and their weakness goes a long way in explaining why rail traffic is down right now. Railroads are hopeful that policymakers here and abroad will take sensible actions aimed at accelerating growth and removing the uncertainty that’s constraining many economic sectors.”
The Association of American Railroads (AAR) recently reported U.S. rail traffic for the week ended Oct. 26, 2019, and for this week, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 513,147 carloads and intermodal units, down 8.8% compared with the same week last year.
No news is good news—or at least that’s how it seems when the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reports on U.S. rail traffic. But according to some industry analysts, the U.S. Class I freight rail industry is in a recession.
Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) Ranking Member Jack Reed has received the Railroad Achievement Award from the Association of American Railroads and GoRail “in recognition of his continued leadership on issues directly and indirectly affecting freight and passenger railroads.” AAR President and CEO Ian Jefferies presented Reed with the award on Oct. 22 in his Washington D.C. Senate office.
The Association of American Railroads (AAR) announced the 2019 recipients of the Holden-Proefrock Award, Danny Simpson, and the 2018 Non-Accident Release (NAR) Grand Slam Awards, presented to 41 companies. The awards are given annually to individuals, shippers and railroads operating in hazardous material fields.