Total U.S. rail traffic for week ending Oct. 3 creeps above 2019 levels

AAR figures show continued intermodal strength while carload traffic remains down
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Chart showing rail traffic for week ending Oct. 3, 2020
Association of American Railroads

WASHINGTON — Total U.S. rail traffic for the week ending Oct. 3 was up 0.8% over the same week in 2019, according to statistics from the Association of American Railroads, thanks to the continued strength of intermodal volume. Final statistics for the month of September, meanwhile, showed carload traffic down significantly from September 2019, but that loss was mostly offset by intermodal traffic.

Overall, traffic included 232,273 carloads, down 5.9% compared to the comparable week a year ago, while intermodal volume was 286,488 containers and trailers, up 6.9% compared to the same week in 2019. Five of 10 commodity groups showed an increase compared to 2019, led by grain, up 34.8% compared to a year earlier at 26,534 carloads. Coal continued to show the biggest losses compared to 2019; its 58,722 carloads represented at 23.5% decrease from a year ago.

For September 2020, U.S. railroads originated 1,119,546 carloads, down 9.7%, while moving 1,523,883 intermodal units, up 7.1%. That left the combined carload and intermodal traffic down 1% from September 2019.




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