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 - 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)...
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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...
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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...
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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. ...
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Umler Equipment Index - Third Quarter 2013

The total size of the North American rail equipment fleet once again held steady during the third quarter of 2013. The total equipment count was 1,969,766 compared to 1,978,807 during the second quarter of 2013, resulting in a less than one percent decrease from last quarter.   The three largest segments were covered hoppers (26 percent), tank cars (18 percent) and...
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Railinc Short Line Index - September 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 346,820 in September 2012 to 355,900 in September 2013.   The largest gains were observed in nonmetallic minerals, up 41 percent, followed by crushed stone, sand, and gravel, up 22 percent. ...
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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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