Carload traffic in September totaled 1,417,750 carloads, down 4.9 percent or 72,597 carloads from September 2014. U.S. railroads also originated 1,365,980 containers and trailers in September 2015, up 1.2 percent or 16,272 units from the same month last year. For September 2015, combined U.S. carload and intermodal originations were 2,783,730, down 2 percent or 56,325 carloads and intermodal units from September 2014. In September 2015, six of the 20 carload commodity categories tracked by the AAR each month saw carload gains compared with September 2014. This included: grain, up 14.4 percent or 13,447 carloads; miscellaneous carloads, up 33.1 percent or 8,057 carloads; and motor vehicles and parts, up 4.9 percent or 4,239 carloads. Commodities that saw declines in September 2015 from September 2014 included: coal, down 8.2 percent or 46,085 carloads;
petroleum and petroleum products, down 15.6 percent or 12,692 carloads; and primary metal products, down 18.9 percent or 10,617 carloads. Excluding coal, carloads were down 2.9 percent or 26,512 carloads in September 2015 from September 2014. Total U.S. carload traffic for the first nine months of 2015 was 10,880,686 carloads, down 4.4 percent or 495,827 carloads, while intermodal containers and trailers were 10,417,267 units, up 2.5 percent or 249,869 containers and trailers when compared to the same period in 2014. For the first nine months of 2015, total rail traffic volume in the United States was 21,297,953 carloads and intermodal units, down 1.1 percent or 245,958 carloads and intermodal units from the same point last year. "Once again, U.S. rail traffic in September was down mainly because of declines in carloads related to energy and steel," said AAR Senior Vice President Policy and Economics John T. Gray. "Intermodal continues to do well while results vary for other commodity categories. As we head into the fall shipping season, railroads are confident they will be able to handle reliably and safely the traffic their customers send their way. Now, we just need a bit more cooperation from the economy." Week Ending October 3, 2015 Total U.S. weekly rail traffic for the week ending Oct. 3, 2015 was 572,293 carloads and intermodal units, down 0.7 percent compared with the same week last year. For the week there were 290,275 carloads, down 3.2 percent compared with the same week in 2014, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 282,018 containers and trailers, up 1.9 percent compared to 2014. Four of the 10 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2014. They included: miscellaneous carloads, up 52.4 percent to 12,839 carloads; grain, up 10.5 percent to 25,029; and farm products, up 3 percent to 16,925. Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2014 included: metallic ores and metals, down 22.1 percent to 21,708 carloads; petroleum and petroleum products, down 17.1 percent to 13,298 carloads; and nonmetallic minerals, down 6.4 percent to 37,349 carloads. North American rail volume for the week ending Oct. 3, 2015 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 382,849 carloads, down 5 percent compared with the same week last year, and 358,922 intermodal units, up 3.7 percent compared with last year. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America, was 741,771 carloads and intermodal units, down 1 percent. North American rail volume for the first 39 weeks of 2015 was 27,740,806 carloads and intermodal units, down 0.8 percent compared with 2014. Canadian railroads reported 76,898 carloads for the week, down 12.6 percent, and 64,518 intermodal units, up 11.4 percent compared with the same week in 2014. For the first 39 weeks of 2015, Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 5,378,437 carloads, containers and trailers, which remained flat compared to last year. Mexican railroads reported 15,676 carloads for the week, up 2.5 percent compared with the same week last year, and 12,386 intermodal units, up 6.1 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 39 weeks of 2015 was 1,064,416 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, up 2.6 percent from the same point last year.