Rail Crude Oil Traffic Fell 16.8% in 2015

Crude oil traffic on U.S. railroads fell 16.8 percent in 2015, reflecting a slowing of domestic oil production.

The Association of American Railroads said that U.S. railroads moved 410,249 carloads of crude oil last year, which was down by 82,897 carloads from the 2014 figure.

AARIn 2015, crude oil accounted for 1.4 percent of total U.S. carloads, a slight drop from 1.6 percent in 2014.

There was good news, though, for U.S. railroads last week as intermodal traffic posted an 18.2 percent gain for the week ending Feb. 20 compared with the same week in 2014.

Carload traffic volumes, however, were down 5.7 percent with railroads carrying 244,747 carloads during the week.

Five of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR tracks saw increases. They included motor vehicles and parts, up 30.7 percent; miscellaneous carloads, up 22.5 percent; and nonmetallic minerals, up 6.4 percent.

Commodity groups that posted decreases during the week included petroleum and petroleum products, down 22.1 percent; coal, down 20.2 percent; and farm products (excluding grain) and food, down 5.7 percent.

For the first seven weeks of 2016, U.S. railroads have posted cumulative volume of 1,698,803 carloads, down 14.3 percent from the same point last year; and 1,815,728 intermodal units, up 7.3 percent from last year. The total combined U.S. traffic for the seven-week period was 3,514,531 carloads and intermodal units, down 4.4 percent compared the same period in 2015.

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