Railroad Service Report Update – May ’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 Apr ’21. Total cars online remained near recently experienced one year high levels, finishing higher on a YOY basis but remaining below 2019 seasonal levels. Grain rail transportation speeds declined on a YOY basis for the 27th consecutive week while ethanol rail transportation speeds finished lower for the 26th consecutive week.
Total Railcars Online:
May 1st week ending total railcars online totaled 982,200, finishing 0.6% below the one year high level experienced throughout the third week of March but remaining 4.4% above the record low level experienced throughout May ’20. Online railcar figures have been compiled since the fourth quarter of 2014. May 1st week ending total railcars online finished 3.2% above previous year figures but remained 4.9% below 2019 seasonal levels.
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:
May 1st week ending grain train speeds of 21.7 MPH declined 12.6% on a YOY basis while finishing 4.3% below historical average grain train speeds. The YOY decline in grain train speeds was the 27th experienced in a row.
Ethanol Rail Transportation:
May 1st week ending ethanol train speeds of 22.2 MPH finished 11.5% below previous year levels and 3.2% below historical average ethanol train speeds. The YOY decline in ethanol train speeds was the 26th experienced in a row.