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 - November 2014

The number of carloads moved on short line and regional railroads increased by about 2 percent in year-to-year comparisons. Total carloads were up from 358,828 in November 2013 to 365,192 in November 2014. Commodities experiencing the greatest increases this month were nonmetallic minerals and metal and products, up 25 percent and 20 percent, respectively. The most...
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Railinc Short Line Index - October 2014

The number of carloads moved on short line and regional railroads increased by 8 percent in year-to-year comparisons. Total carloads were up from 390,703 in October 2013 to 420,257 in October 2014.   Commodities experiencing the greatest increases this month were coal and nonmetallic minerals, up 32 percent and 27 percent, respectively. The most significant declines were...
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Umler Equipment Index - Third Quarter 2014

The total size of the North American rail equipment fleet once again held steady during the third quarter of 2014. The total equipment count was 2,007,584 compared to 2,001,132 during the second quarter of 2014, resulting in a less than 1 percent increase from the previous quarter. The three largest segments again were covered hoppers (26 percent), tank cars (19...
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Railinc Short Line Index - September 2014

The number of carloads moved on short line and regional railroads increased by 12 percent in year-to-year comparisons. Total carloads were up from 355,900 in September 2013 to 398,115 in September 2014.   All commodities experienced increases this month; there are no declines to report, from food and kindred products being up 2 percent to the largest observable gains in...
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Railinc Short Line Index - August 2014

The number of carloads moved on short line and regional railroads increased by 7 percent in year-to-year comparisons. Total carloads were up from 375,728 in August 2013 to 400,471 in August 2014.   The largest gains were observed in metallic ores, up 70 percent, followed by nonmetallic minerals and grain, up 52 percent and 23 percent, respectively. Four commodities...
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Railinc Short Line Index - July 2014

The number of carloads moved on short line and regional railroads increased by 7 percent in year-to-year comparisons. Total carloads were up from 381,416 in July 2013 to 407,016 in July 2014.   The largest gains were observed in nonmetallic minerals, up 32 percent, followed by crushed stone, sand and gravel, up 26 percent. Petroleum products and food and kindred...
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Railinc Short Line Index - June 2014

The number of carloads moved on short line and regional railroads increased by 5 percent in year-to-year comparisons. Total carloads were up from 359,186 in June 2013 to 378,244 in June 2014.   The largest gains were observed in nonmetallic minerals, up 45 percent. Metallic ores and food and kindred products were the only commodities experiencing declines, down 46 percent...
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Umler Equipment Index - Second Quarter 2014

The total size of the North American rail equipment fleet once again held steady during the second quarter of 2014. The total equipment count was 2,001,132 compared to 1,982,785 during the first quarter of 2014, resulting in a 0.9 percent increase from the previous quarter.   The three largest segments again were covered hoppers (26 percent), tank cars (19 percent) and...
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Railinc Short Line Index - May 2014

The number of carloads moved on short line and regional railroads increased slightly, with a 1 percent increase in year-to-year comparisons. Total carloads were up from 392,609 in May 2013 to 396,092 in May 2014.   The largest gains were observed in grain, up 21 percent, along with motor vehicles and equipment, up 14 percent. Metallic ores experienced the most significant...
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Railinc Short Line Index - April 2014

The number of carloads moved on short line and regional railroads increased slightly, with a 4 percent increase in year-to-year comparisons. Total carloads were up from 373,535 in April 2013 to 387,318 in April 2014.     The largest gains were observed in grain, up 25 percent, along with motor vehicles and equipment, up 24 percent. Metallic ores experienced the most...
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