Coal shipments help fuel RailAmerica

SHORT-line and regional transporter RailAmerica has continued its trend of incremental year-on-year improvements – reporting a rise in freight carloads in September, with coal leading the rally.
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Photo courtesy RailAmerica

Donna Schmidt

The Florida-based group said September’s total of 67,111 was 2.4% higher than the same period in 2011, and that shipments jumped in seven of the 12 commodity group’s services.

In addition to agricultural products and crude oil, coal was a significant performer for RailAmerica.

It rose 6.1% last month to 37,495 from 25,335 in September 2011.

“Coal volumes increased primarily due to greater shipment volumes in the central region,” officials said.

One of the largest marked declines was in metallic ores and metals, which the company said was due to reduced metals shipments in the northeast.

The company’s September carloads included 1323 from acquisitions.

Year-on-year, freight carloads were up 2.9% in August and 5.4% in July. June marked a 3.7% rise versus the same 2011 period.

RailAmerica operates a portfolio of 45 individual railroads with about 7500 track miles in 28 US states and three Canadian provinces.

The company was acquired by Genesee and Wyoming on October 1. At the same time, it deregistered its common stock and delisted from the New York Stock Exchange.

Until the details of that takeover are finalized in the final quarter of 2012 or first quarter of 2013, RailAmerica said it will continue to report its carload totals independently.

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