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 - 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...
Read More About Railinc Short Line Index - May 2014 »

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...
Read More About Railinc Short Line Index - April 2014 »

Umler Equipment Index - First Quarter 2014

The total size of the North American rail equipment fleet once again held steady during the first quarter of 2014. The total equipment count was 1,982,785 compared to 1,977,131 during the fourth quarter of 2013, resulting in a less than one percent increase from last quarter.   The three largest segments once again were covered hoppers (26 percent), tank cars (19 percent)...
Read More About Umler Equipment Index - First Quarter 2014 »

Railinc Short Line Index - March 2014

The number of carloads moved on short line and regional railroads increased slightly, with a three percent increase in year-to-year comparisons. Total carloads were up from 369,100 in March 2013 to 378,177 in March 2014.   The largest gains were observed in nonmetallic minerals, up 19 percent, along with grain, up 15 percent. Commodities experiencing the most significant...
Read More About Railinc Short Line Index - March 2014 »

Railinc Short Line Index - February 2014

The number of carloads moved on short line and regional railroads decreased slightly, with a one percent decrease in year-to-year comparisons. Total carloads were down from 335,067 in February 2013 to 331,273 in February 2014.   The largest gains were observed in motor vehicles and equipment, up 18 percent, along with nonmetallic minerals, up 12 percent. Commodities...
Read More About Railinc Short Line Index - February 2014 »

Railinc Short Line Index - January 2014

The number of carloads moved on short line and regional railroads decreased slightly, with a three percent decrease in year-to-year comparisons. Total carloads were down from 362,843 in January 2013 to 352,829 in January 2014.   The largest gains were observed in nonmetallic minerals, up 135 percent and metallic ores, up 110 percent. Commodities experiencing the most...
Read More About Railinc Short Line Index - January 2014 »

Umler Equipment Index - Fourth Quarter 2013

The total size of the North American rail equipment fleet once again held steady during the fourth quarter of 2013. The total equipment count was 1,977,131 compared to 1,969,766 during the third quarter of 2013, resulting in a less than one percent increase from last quarter.   The three largest segments once again were covered hoppers (26 percent), tank cars (18 percent)...
Read More About Umler Equipment Index - Fourth Quarter 2013 »

Railinc Short Line Index - December 2013

The number of carloads moved on short line and regional railroads increased slightly, with a five percent increase in year-to-year comparisons. Total carloads were up from 332,002 in December 2012 to 349,676 in December 2013.   The largest gains were observed in metallic ores and nonmetallic minerals, up 110 percent and 70 percent, respectively. Commodities experiencing the...
Read More About Railinc Short Line Index - December 2013 »

Railinc Short Line Index - November 2013

The number of carloads moved on short line and regional railroads increased slightly, with a three percent increase in year-to-year comparisons.  Total carloads were up from 348,017 in November 2012 to 358,8282 in November 2013.   The largest gains were observed in metallic ores and nonmetallic minerals, up 100 percent and 73 percent, respectively.  Commodities...
Read More About Railinc Short Line Index - November 2013 »

Railinc Short Line Index - October 2013

The number of carloads moved on short line and regional railroads increased slightly, with a two percent increase in year-to-year comparisons.  Total carloads were up from 382,303 in October 2012 to 390,703 in October 2013.     The largest gains were observed in metallic ores and nonmetallic minerals, up 92 percent and 82 percent, respectively. ...
Read More About Railinc Short Line Index - October 2013 »