WASHINGTON — Rail traffic for the first week of 2017 wasn't quite up to par with how 2016 started. According to a recent data report compiled by the Association of American Railroads, freight and intermodal traffic was down more than 11 percent for the first week of 2017, when compared to the first seven days of 2016.
Freight carload traffic was down more than 7 percent, while intermodal traffic was down almost 15 percent compared to 2016. Only two commodities posted an increase compared with the same week in 2016 – and those were marginal, at best. Metallic ores and metal shipments were up about 5 percent, while grain struggled to secure a 1 percent gain over last year.
Petroleum and related products started off 2017 with 32 percent fewer carloads than the first days of 2016. Farm and food products, as well forest-related products also posted declines in excess of 15 percent.
When adding Mexico and Canada rail traffic to U.S. rail figures, North American rail volume was down more than 10 percent in the first week of 2017.