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.

 

Short Line Carloads Decrease in September

The number of carloads moved on short line and regional railroad in September 2019 was down compared to September 2018. Carloads originated decreased 0.3 percent, from 345,607 in September 2018 to 344,679 in September 2019. Grain Mill Products led gains with a 28.0 percent increase. Nonmetallic Minerals was up 24.4 percent, and Stone, Clay and Glass Products and Petroleum Products increased...
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EOTs, Hoppers Top Third Quarter Umler Index

The total size of the North American rail equipment fleet was up slightly during the third quarter of 2019. The total equipment count was 2,132,035, for an increase of 0.3 percent. The three largest segments during the quarter were Covered Hoppers (29 percent), Tank Cars (21 percent) and Gondolas (11 percent). Seven car groups increased from the last quarter, led by EOTs, up 3.7 percent,...
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Nonmetallic Minerals Among Short Line Leaders

The number of carloads moved on short line and regional railroad in August 2019 was down compared to August 2018. Carloads originated decreased 4.0 percent, from 384,862 in August 2018 to 369,611 in August 2019. Nonmetallic Minerals led gains for the fifth consecutive month with a 33.3 percent increase. Grain Mill Products was up 13.8 percent, and Motor Vehicles and Equipment and Trailer or...
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Short Line Carloads Increase Slightly in July

The number of carloads moved on short line and regional railroad in July 2019 was slightly up compared to July 2018. Carloads originated increased 0.4 percent, from 368,588 in July 2018 to 369,913 in July 2019. Nonmetallic Minerals led gains for the fourth consecutive month with a 43.4 percent increase. Grain Mill Products was up 19.0 percent, and Petroleum Products and Food and Kindred...
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Tanks, Intermodal Lead Q2 Umler Index Gains

The total size of the North American rail equipment fleet was up slightly during the second quarter of 2019. The total equipment count was 2,124,998, for an increase of 0.4 percent. The three largest segments during the quarter were Covered Hoppers (28 percent), Tank Cars (21 percent) and Gondolas (11 percent). Seven car groups increased from the last quarter, led by Tanks, up 1.3...
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Nonmetallic Minerals Lead Short Line Gains Again

The number of carloads moved on short line and regional railroad in June 2019 was down compared to June 2018. Carloads originated decreased 2.6 percent, from 360,666 in June 2018 to 351,301 in June 2019. Nonmetallic Minerals led gains for the third consecutive month with a 45.5 percent increase. Grain was up 16.2 percent, and Petroleum Products and Chemicals increased 13.5 and 13.1 percent...
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May Short Line Carloads Up Slightly From 2018

The number of carloads moved on short line and regional railroad in May 2019 was up slightly compared to May 2018. Carloads originated increased 0.2 percent, from 375,514 in May 2018 to 376,359 in May 2019. Nonmetallic Minerals again led gains with a 46.2 percent increase. Grain Mill Products was up 23.2 percent, and Motor Vehicles and Equipment and Chemicals increased 14.3 and 10.4 percent...
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Nonmetallic Minerals Top Short Line Index Gains

The number of carloads moved on short line and regional railroad in April 2019 was up compared to April 2018. Carloads originated increased 2.8 percent, from 355,358 in April 2018 to 365,357 in April 2019.  Nonmetallic Minerals led gains with a 40.2 percent increase. Grain Mill Products was up 27.2 percent, and Trailer or Container and Stone, Clay and Glass Products increased 15.2 and...
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IM Flats, Flats Lead Q1 Umler Index Gains

The total size of the North American rail equipment fleet was up during the first quarter of 2019. The total equipment count was 2,115,741, for an increase of 0.4 percent. The three largest segments during the quarter were Covered Hoppers (28 percent), Tank Cars (21 percent) and Gondolas (11 percent). Five car groups increased from the last quarter, led by IM Flats, up 2.4 percent, and...
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March Short Line Carloads Down from Previous Year

The number of carloads moved on short line and regional railroad in March 2019 was down compared to March 2018. Carloads originated decreased 2.1 percent, from 359,689 in March 2018 to 352,268 in March 2019.  Trailer or Container led gains with a 31.3 percent increase. Nonmetallic Minerals was up 14.0 percent, and Grain Mill Products and Petroleum Products increased 12.2 and 3.0...
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