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Key Weekly Metrics

The railroad performance measures are reported weekly. These measures represent only some of the indicators of railroad performance. Please be advised that you should not rely solely on this information as an indication of CN's overall performance, financial or otherwise, as it may be misleading when viewed in isolation.

Effective January 1, 2019, CN has introduced new definitions for Cars on-Line, Train Speed and Terminal Dwell.

Weekly Volumes

CN reports weekly volumes by AAR grouping (carloads) and by CN reported Business Units (RTMs and carloads). Revenue ton-miles (RTMs) represent a better proxy of workload than carloads as this metric takes into account the length of haul of the movement.

The chart below highlights the year-over-year (YoY) growth rate in total system RTMs for the past 52 weeks in relation to the YoY growth rate in railway-controlled cars on-line. As to be expected, CN’s strategy of growing volumes faster than the economy requires additional railcars (railway-owned or private) on the system.

Weekly RTMs data is reported from Sunday to Saturday. Weekly railroad controlled cars on-line data is reported from Saturday to Friday.


% Change YoY – RTMs and Railroad-Controlled Cars on-Line (Last 52 weeks)

*Summary historical carload data available in "CN-Cars Summary by AAR Grouping" file.

Key Weekly Operating Metrics

Car Velocity (how many miles a car moves per day) represents an all-encompassing operating metric that takes into account the train speed from origination yard to destination yard as well as the time (in hours) that the railcar spends in a yard.

Car Velocity (Car Miles per Day)

Please note that the methodology for calculating Car Velocity was updated in 2021 to reflect more complete information. Historical Car Velocity figures from 2019-2020 have been adjusted to conform to the current methodology.

  Key Operating Metrics – Current Week (XLSX)