Railinc Rail Industry Indexes

Railinc publishes monthly and quarterly indexes as a service to the rail industry. These indexes provide a snapshot of the demographics of the North American railcar fleet and an analysis of commodities being shipped via rail. Browse through the archive below or use the Search box to query a specific month or quarter.

Railinc publishes the following two indexes:

Umler® Equipment Index
The Umler® Equipment Index provides quarterly analysis of the total make-up of the North American rail equipment fleet. Data in the index represents all equipment units on file in Railinc's Umler system, including pre-registered, restricted and scrap units. It is published during the first month of each quarter.

Railinc Short Line and Regional Traffic Index
The Railinc Short Line and Regional Traffic Index provides year-to-year analysis of commodities shipped by carloads. It is published monthly and includes shipping and commodities data from approximately 500 railroads. This information can also be found monthly in Railway Age magazine.

Important note: Due to database changes used in the short line reporting calculation, data reported before February 2015 may contain variances that make it unsuitable for trend analysis or comparison. Beginning in February 2015, the Short Line Index was corrected to account for these variances. Because not all of the data for past periods are retained, we are unable to restate historical data on a comparable basis.



Nonmetallic Minerals Lead Short Line Index Gains

The number of carloads moved on short line and regional railroad in February 2019 was slightly down compared to February 2018. Carloads originated decreased 0.9 percent, from 319,634 in February 2018 to 316,764 in February 2019.

Nonmetallic Minerals led gains with a 46.5 percent increase. Trailer or Container was up 18.5 percent, and Grain Mill Products and Chemicals increased 14.6 and 6.3 percent respectively. Crushed Stone, Sand and Gravel led declines, down 13.1 percent. Grain, Lumber and Wood Products, Food and Kindred Products, Coal, Metallic Ores, Waste and Scrap Materials, Motor Vehicles and Equipment, Stone, Clay and Glass Products, Petroleum Products and Other Carloads were also down in February.

Click here to download the Carloads by Commodity table as an Excel file.

Carloads originated for 2019 were at 675,549 through February 28, up about 18,00 carloads, or 2.8 percent from 2018.

Railinc publishes this information as a service to the rail industry. The Railinc Short Line and Regional Traffic Index can also be found monthly in Railway Age magazine.. For questions or comments, please contact the Railinc Corporate Communications department.