Railroad Service Report Update – Aug ’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 Jul ’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 remained lower on a YOY basis for the 40th consecutive week however ethanol rail transportation speeds finished higher for the fourth time in the past five weeks.
Total Railcars Online:
Jul 31st week ending total railcars online totaled 977,600, finishing 1.1% below the one year high level experienced throughout Mar ’21 but remaining 3.9% above the record low level experienced throughout May ’20. Online railcar figures have been compiled since the fourth quarter of 2014. Jul 31st week ending total railcars online finished 1.3% above previous year figures but remained 4.6% 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 pre-pandemic levels.
Grain Rail Transportation:
Jul 31st week ending grain train speeds of 22.6 MPH finished 2.3% below previous year levels and 0.1% below historical average grain train speeds. The YOY decline in grain train speeds was the 40th experienced in a row.
Ethanol Rail Transportation:
Jul 31st week ending ethanol train speeds of 23.0 MPH finished 1.3% above previous year levels and 0.4% above historical average ethanol train speeds. The YOY increase in ethanol train speeds was the first fourth experienced throughout the past five weeks. Ethanol trail speeds had finished below previous year levels over 34 consecutive weeks through the end of Jun ’21.