Railroad Service Report Update – Apr ’21
Weekly service report updates for Class 1 railroads provided by the Surface Transportation Board (STB) were recently updated with values spanning through the end of Mar ’21. Total cars online remained near the one year high level experienced throughout the previous week, finishing higher on a YOY basis for the second consecutive week. Grain rail transportation speeds declined on a YOY basis for the 22nd consecutive week while ethanol rail transportation speeds finished lower for the 21st consecutive week.
Total Railcars Online:
Mar 27th week ending total railcars online totaled 987,000, finishing 0.1% below the one year high level experienced throughout the previous week but remaining higher on a YOY basis for the second consecutive week, up 0.4%. Total railcars online had finished lower on a YOY basis over 122 consecutive weeks through the week ending Mar 13th, prior to finishing higher throughout the past two weeks of available data. Total railcars online finished 4.9% above the record low level experienced throughout May ’20. Online railcar figures have been compiled since the fourth quarter of 2014.
Total railcars online reached record low levels following the significant declines in manufacturing experienced during the early stages of COVID-19. Manufacturing and railcars online have each rebounded partially since, but remain below previous year levels.
Grain Rail Transportation:
Mar 27th week ending grain train speeds of 22.4 MPH declined 6.9% on a YOY basis while finishing 1.1% below historical average grain train speeds. The YOY decline in grain train speeds was the 22nd experienced in a row.
Ethanol Rail Transportation:
Mar 27th week ending ethanol train speeds of 22.4 MPH finished 10.1% below previous year levels and 2.5% below historical average ethanol train speeds. The YOY decline in ethanol train speeds was the 21st experienced in a row.