Table 4-17: Class I Rail Freight Fuel Consumption and Travel

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  1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Number in use                                                          
Locomotivesa 29,031 27,780 27,077 27,846 28,094 22,548 18,835 18,344 18,004 18,161 18,505 18,812 19,269 19,684 20,261 20,256 20,028 19,745 20,506 20,774 22,015 22,779 23,732 24,143 24,003 24,045 23,893 24,250 24,707
Freight carsb 1,965,486 1,800,662 1,784,181 1,723,605 1,710,827 1,421,686 1,212,261 1,189,660 1,173,136 1,173,132 1,192,412 1,218,927 1,240,573 1,270,419 1,315,667 1,368,836 1,380,796 1,314,136 1,299,670 1,278,980 1,287,920 1,316,522 1,361,250 1,385,709 1,392,972 1,363,433 1,309,029 1,283,225 1,246,627
Miles traveled (millions)                                                          
Freight train-milesc 404 421 427 403 428 347 380 375 390 405 441 458 469 475 475 490 504 500 500 516 535 548 563 543 524 436 476 493 (P) 500
Locomotive unit-miles N N N 1,479 1,531 1,228 1,280 1,238 1,278 1,320 1,405 1,445 1,465 1,423 1,440 1,504 1,503 1,478 1,444 1,484 1,538 1,588 1,660 1,609 1,559 1,309 1,415 1,468 1,486
Freight car-miles 28,170 29,336 29,890 27,656 29,277 24,920 26,159 25,628 26,128 26,883 28,485 30,383 31,715 31,660 32,657 33,851 34,590 34,243 34,680 35,555 37,071 37,712 38,955 38,186 37,226 32,115 35,541 36,649 (P) 36,525
Average miles traveled per gallon                                                          
Freight trains 0.12 0.12 0.12 0.11 0.11 0.11 0.12 0.13 0.13 0.13 0.13 0.13 0.13 0.13 0.13 0.13 0.14 0.13 0.13 0.13 0.13 0.13 0.13 0.13 0.13 0.14 0.14 0.13 0.14
Freight cars 8.13 8.17 8.43 7.56 7.50 8.01 8.40 8.82 8.69 8.71 8.54 8.73 8.86 8.86 9.11 9.11 9.35 9.23 9.30 9.29 9.13 9.20 9.29 9.40 9.58 10.06 10.17 9.95 10.15
Fuel consumed (million gallons)d 3,463 3,592 3,545 3,657 3,904 3,110 3,115 2,906 3,005 3,088 3,334 3,480 3,579 3,575 3,583 3,715 3,700 3,710 3,730 3,826 4,059 4,098 4,192 4,062 3,886 3,192 3,494 3,685 (P) 3,600
Revenue ton-miles per gallon of fuel consumed 165 194 216 206 235 282 332 357 355 359 360 375 379 377 384 386 396 403 404 405 410 414 423 436 457 480 484 469 (P) 476
Average miles traveled per locomotive (thousands) N N N 53.1 54.5 54.5 68.0 67.5 71.0 72.7 75.9 76.8 76.0 72.3 71.1 74.2 75.0 74.8 70.4 71.4 69.9 69.7 69.9 66.6 64.9 54.4 59.2 60.5 60.1
Average fuel consumed per locomotivea (thousand gallons) 119.3 129.3 130.9 131.3 139.0 137.9 165.4 158.4 166.9 170.0 180.2 185.0 185.7 181.6 176.8 183.4 184.7 187.9 181.9 184.2 184.4 179.9 176.6 168.2 161.9 132.8 146.2 152.0 145.7

KEY: N = data do not exist; P = preliminary.

a For 1960-80, the total includes a small number of steam and electric units, which are not included in the per locomotive fuel consumption figure.

b United States owners only. Includes cars owned by Class I railroads, other railroads, car companies, and shippers.

c Based on the distance run between terminals and/or stations; does not include yard or passenger train-miles.

d Excludes passenger and work trains.

SOURCES

All data except for locomotive unit-miles:

1960-2007: Association of American Railroads, Railroad Facts (Washington, DC: Annual Issues), pp. 33, 34, 40, 49, and 51, and similar pages in earlier editions.

2008-12: Association of American Railroads, personal communication, May 20, 2013.

Locomotive unit-miles:

1975-92, 2002: Ibid., Railroad Ten-Year Trends (Washington, DC: Annual Issues).

1993-2001, 2003-04: Ibid., Analysis of Class I Railroads (Washington, DC: Annual Issues).

2005-12: Association of American Railroads, personal communications, June 13, 2007, Apr. 24, 2008, Apr. 28, 2010, Aug. 12, 2011, May 04, 2012, and May 20, 2013.