RailState Rail Capacity Report February 21-27, 2023

Freight Rail Capacity for Trains Moving Westbound to Port of Vancouver

We’ve been reporting on rail capacity westbound into the Port of Vancouver for the last five months. For most of this period, the railways have appeared to be doing well with westbound movements toward Vancouver. That pattern continued during the past week.

During the week ended 2/27/2023, the train volumes westbound into Vancouver averaged 28.1 trains/day, an increase of 0.7 trains/day from the average of 27.4 trains/day during the week ended 2/20. This was significantly above the average of 25.7 trains/day that is required to move the typical volume of all commodities.

RailState Rail Capacity for Trains Moving Westbound to the Port of Vancouver January 22 to February 27, 2023

Observations for Week (2/21/2023-2/27/2023):

  • The 7-day moving average number of trains moving westbound past Chilliwack was 28.1 trains/day, significantly above the average of 25.7 trains/day that is required to move the typical volume of all commodities.
  • The moving average number of trains/day was above 25.7 trains/day for all 7 days during this past week.
  • During the week ended 2/27/2023, the 7 day moving average for total trains increased by 0.7 trains/day, rising from from 27.4 trains/day as of 2/20 to 28.1 trains/day as of 2/27.

As of 2/27/2023, rail traffic in four of the seven categories we track was at or above its long-term average level. Manifest trains (4.1 trains/day), grain (7.3 trains/day), and other traffic (1.7 trains/day), were all above their 2022 average levels, and petroleum traffic was at its 2022 average level of 2.4 trains/day. Only intermodal traffic (6.9 trains/day), coal (4.7 trains/day), and potash (1.0 trains/day) were below their 2022 average levels, with intermodal traffic remaining below its long-term average level for the sixteenth week in a row.

We will continue to monitor the corridor into Vancouver and provide updates on trends we’re seeing.

Check out last week’s freight rail capacity report. 

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