Railroad Service Report Update – Sep ’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 Aug ’21. Total cars online reached a 17 month high level but remaining below pre-pandemic seasonal levels. Grain rail transportation speeds remained lower on a YOY basis for the 42nd time in the past 44 weeks however ethanol rail transportation speeds finished higher for the sixth time in the past nine weeks.
Total Railcars Online:
Aug 28th week ending total railcars online totaled 990,000, reaching a 17 month high level and finishing 5.3% above the record low level experienced throughout May ’20. Online railcar figures have been compiled since the fourth quarter of 2014. Aug 28th week ending total railcars online finished 1.9% above previous year figures but remained 2.8% below pre-pandemic 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:
Aug 28th week ending grain train speeds of 22.5 MPH finished 1.5% below previous year levels and 0.4% below historical average grain train speeds. The YOY decline in grain train speeds was the 42nd experienced throughout the past 44 weeks.
Ethanol Rail Transportation:
Aug 28th week ending ethanol train speeds of 23.0 MPH finished 1.7% above previous year levels and 0.6% above historical average ethanol train speeds. The YOY increase in ethanol train speeds was the first sixth experienced throughout the past nine weeks. Ethanol trail speeds had finished below previous year levels over 34 consecutive weeks through the end of Jun ’21.