U.S. Weekly Rail Traffic Up 3.9 Percent

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) has reported that U.S. rail traffic for the week ending April 15, 2017, totaled 519,318 carloads and intermodal units, a 3.9 percent increase compared to the same week in 2016.

U.S. carloads, which totaled 255,485 for the week, were up by 6.2 percent compared to the same week last year. U.S. intermodal volume for the week totaled 263,833 units, an increase of 1.7 percent compared to 2016.

Three of the 10 carload commodity groups that are tracked by the AAR posted an increase for the week ending April 15, 2017, when compared with the same week in 2016. Coal saw an increase of 29.7 percent to 81,942 carloads, and nonmetallic minerals were up 6.2 percent to 37,865 carloads. Grain increased to 21,566 carloads, or 3.8 percent.

Petroleum and petroleum products showed the largest decrease in the commodity groups, with a drop of 14.9 percent to 9,267 carloads, and motor vehicles and parts declined by 12.3 percent to 16,247 carloads. Metallic ores and metals saw a decrease of 4.4 percent, or 22,621 carloads.

The AAR has noted that the week ending April 15 included Good Friday, which is a holiday for many railroads and rail customers. The comparable week in 2016 did not include Good Friday.

For the first 15 weeks of 2017, U.S. rail volume totaled 7,744,122 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 3.8 percent when compared to last year. Carloads, with a total of 3,831,643, were up by 6 percent, and intermodal, with a total of 3,912,479, increased by 1.7 percent.

On the 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads, combined North American rail volume for the week ending April 15, 2017, was 688,251 carloads and intermodal units, up by 4.7 percent.

For the first 15 weeks of 2017, North American rail volume was up 4.6 percent, with a total of 10,241,843 carloads and intermodal units.