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.

 

Umler Equipment Index - Second Quarter 2016

The total size of the North American rail equipment fleet decreased slightly during the second quarter of 2016. The total equipment count was 2,076,537, compared to 2,082,010 during the first quarter, resulting in 0.3 percent decrease.   The three largest segments this quarter were covered hoppers (27 percent), tank cars (21 percent), and gondolas (12 percent).   ...
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Railinc Short Line Index - June 2016

The number of carloads moved on short line and regional railroads decreased by 3 percent in year-to-year comparisons. Total carloads were down from 360,806 in June 2015 to 348,689 in June 2016.   Motor vehicles and equipment led commodity gains with a 21 percent increase, followed by petroleum products and stone, clay, and glass products, up 19 and 12 percent,...
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Railinc Short Line Index - May 2016

The number of carloads moved on short line and regional railroads decreased by 4.6 percent in year-to-year comparisons. Total carloads were down from 349,658 in May 2015 to 333,542 in May 2016. Petroleum products led commodity gains with a 21 percent increase, followed by stone, clay, and glass products along with motor vehicles and equipment, up 15 percent and 13 percent,...
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Railinc Short Line Index - April 2016

The number of carloads moved on short line and regional railroads decreased by 4.5 percent in year-to-year comparisons. Total carloads were down from 349,726 in April 2015 to 334,024 in April 2016. Motor vehicles and equipment led commodity gains with a 20.7 percent increase, followed by stone, clay and glass products, up 9.3 percent, and chemicals and metals and products,...
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Umler Equipment Index - First Quarter 2016

The total size of the North American rail equipment fleet increased slightly during the first quarter of 2016. The total equipment count was 2,082,010, compared to 2,065,495 during the fourth quarter of 2015, resulting in a 0.8 percent increase. The three largest segments this quarter were covered hoppers (26 percent), tank cars (21 percent) and gondolas (12...
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Railinc Short Line Index - March 2016

The number of carloads moved on short line and regional railroads remained steady with a less than 1 percent decrease in year-to-year comparisons. Total carloads were down slightly from 350,139 in March 2015 to 348,816 in March 2016. Motor vehicles and equipment led commodity gains with a 35 percent increase, followed by waste and scrap materials, up 16 percent and metals and...
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Railinc Short Line Index - February 2016

The number of carloads moved on short line and regional railroads increased by 14 percent in year-to-year comparisons. Total carloads were up from 290,963 in February 2015 to 331,709 in February 2016. Metallic ores led commodity gains with a 183 percent increase, followed by trailer or container & grain mill products, up 46 percent and 37 percent, respectively. The only...
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Railinc Short Line Index - January 2016

The number of carloads moved on short line and regional railroads decreased by about 5 percent in year-to-year comparisons. Total carloads were down from 341,663 in January 2015 to 323,123 in January 2016.   Metallic ores and trailer or container led commodity gains with a 62 percent and a 17 percent increase, respectively.The most significant declines were observed in...
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Umler Equipment Index - Fourth Quarter 2015

The total size of the North American rail equipment fleet held steady during fourth quarter 2015. The total equipment count was 2,060,914 in the fourth quarter, compared to 2,056,726 during the third quarter of 2015, resulting in a 0.2 percent increase. The three largest segments this quarter were covered hoppers (26 percent), tank cars (21 percent), and gondolas (12...
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Railinc Short Line Index - December 2015

The number of carloads moved on short line and regional railroads decreased by 6 percent in year-to-year comparisons. Total carloads were down from 356,316 in December 2014 to 333,751 in December 2015. Metallic ores led commodity gains with a 57 percent increase. The only other commodities experiencing gains this month were petroleum products and chemicals, up 15 percent and...
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