Crushed stone, sand and gravel rail traffic down

By |  December 4, 2020

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Crushed stone, sand and gravel rail carloads were down about 10 percent in November, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reports.

Crushed stone, sand and gravel, which is one of 20 carload commodity categories AAR tracks, was down 7,819 carloads this November from November 2019.

Eleven of AAR’s 20 categories saw drops, including coal and petroleum and petroleum products.

In all, U.S. railroads originated about 900,000 November carloads. That figure is down 5.8 percent, or 55,198 carloads, from November 2019. U.S. railroads also originated 1.1 million containers and trailers this November, up 11.5 percent – or about 116,000 units – from the same month last year.

Combined U.S. carload and intermodal originations this November were 2.03 million – up 3.1 percent, or 61,717 carloads and intermodal units, from November 2019.

“U.S. rail traffic continued to make up lost ground in November,” says John Gray, AAR senior vice president. “Excluding coal, total U.S. rail carloads are now very close to where they were before the pandemic hit, with grain volumes approaching record highs due to soybean exports.

“Meanwhile, U.S. intermodal volumes have seen near-record highs the past couple months due to both import volumes and internet purchasing by consumers,” Gray adds. “Railroads join everyone else in hoping that the recent surge in COVID-19 infection rates across the country recedes quickly and that our nation can return to a path of improved personal and economic health.”

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About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or

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