Railroad Service Report Update – Mar ’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 Feb ’21. Total cars online reached an 11 month high level but remained 0.9% lower on a YOY basis. Grain rail transportation speeds declined on a YOY basis for the 18th consecutive week while ethanol rail transportation speeds finished lower for the 17th consecutive week.
Total Railcars Online:
Feb 27th week ending total railcars online totaled 983,200, finishing 0.1% above the previous week and reaching an 11 month high level. Total railcars online finished 4.5% above the record low level experienced throughout May ’20. Online railcar figures have been compiled since the fourth quarter of 2014. Total railcars online remained lower on a YOY basis for the 120th consecutive week, however, finishing down 0.9%.
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:
Feb 27th week ending grain train speeds of 22.5 MPH declined 3.2% on a YOY basis while finishing 0.5% below historical average grain train speeds. The YOY decline in grain train speeds was the 18th experienced in a row.
Ethanol Rail Transportation:
Feb 27th week ending ethanol train speeds of 21.4 MPH finished 5.0% below previous year levels and 6.7% below historical average ethanol train speeds. The YOY decline in ethanol train speeds was the 17th experienced in a row.