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.

 

Railinc Short Line Index - August 2013

The number of carloads moved on short line and regional railroads remained nearly steady, with a slight 0.6 percent decrease in year-to-year comparisons. Total carloads were down slightly from 377,950 in August 2012 to 375,728 in August 2013.   The largest gains were observed in nonmetallic minerals, up 30 percent, followed by crushed stone, sand and gravel, up 16...
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Railinc Short Line Index - July 2013

The number of carloads moved on short line and regional railroads increased eight percent in year-to-year comparisons. Total carloads were up from 354,708 in July 2012 to 381,416 in July 2013.   The largest gains were observed in nonmetallic minerals, up 81 percent, followed by metallic ores, up 28 percent.  All commodities experienced increases this month, when...
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Umler Equipment Index - Second Quarter 2013

The total size of the North American rail equipment fleet once again held steady during the second quarter of 2013. The total equipment count was 1,978,807 compared to 1,970,958 during the first quarter of 2013, resulting in a negligible increase from last quarter.   The three largest segments were covered hoppers (26 percent), tank cars (18 percent) and gondolas (13...
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Railinc Short Line Index - June 2013

The number of carloads moved on short line and regional railroads remained steady in year-to-year comparisons. Total carloads were up from 358,502 in June 2012 to 359,186 in June 2013, resulting in a negligible increase.   The largest gains were observed in metallic ores, up 88 percent, followed by nonmetallic minerals, up 28 percent. Grain and the all other carloads...
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Railinc Short Line Index - May 2013

The number of carloads moved on short line and regional railroads increased in year-to-year comparisons. Total carloads were up from 370,163 in May 2012 to 392,609 in May 2013, resulting in a six percent increase.   The largest gains were observed in metallic ores, up 92 percent, followed by coal and nonmetallic minerals, up 55 percent and 27 percent, respectively. Grain...
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Railinc Short Line Index - April 2013

The number of carloads moved on short line and regional railroads increased in year-to-year comparisons. Total carloads were up from 347,636 in April 2012 to 373,535 in April 2013, resulting in an eight percent increase.   The largest gain was observed in coal, up 54 percent. Nonmetallic minerals followed, up 44 percent, along with trailer or container and lumber and wood...
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Umler Equipment Index - First Quarter 2013

The total size of the North American rail equipment fleet once again held steady during the first quarter of 2013. The total equipment count was 1,967,958 compared to 1,964,205 during the fourth quarter of 2012, resulting in a negligible increase from last quarter.   The three largest segments were covered hoppers (26 percent), tank cars (17 percent) and gondolas (13...
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Railinc Short Line Index - March 2013

The number of carloads moved on short line and regional railroads increased in year-to-year comparisons. Total carloads were up from 354,179 in March 2012 to 369,100 in March 2013, resulting in a four percent increase.   The largest gain was observed in coal, up 69 percent. Metallic ores followed, up 49 percent. Commodities experiencing the most significant declines were...
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Railinc Short Line Index - February 2013

The number of carloads moved on short line and regional railroads increased in year-to-year comparisons. Total carloads were up from 326,457 in February 2012 to 335,067 in February 2013, resulting in a three percent increase.   The largest gain was observed in coal, up 49 percent. Metallic ores closely followed, up 47 percent.  Commodities experiencing the most...
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Railinc Short Line Index - January 2013

The number of carloads moved on short line and regional railroads increased in year-to-year comparisons. Total carloads were up from 339,352 in January 2012 to 362,843 in January 2013, resulting in a seven percent increase.   The largest gain was observed in the all other carloads commodity, up 72 percent. Trailer or container followed, up 35 percent. Commodities...
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