Railroad Performance Measures   

General Definitions For Measurements

Cars On Line

Cars On Line is the average of the daily on-line inventory of freight cars. Articulated cars are counted as a single unit. Cars on private tracks (e.g., at a customer's facility) are counted on the last railroad on which they were located. Maintenance of way cars are excluded.

Cars on Line figures are reported by car type for the following car types:

Car Type

AAR Mechanical Designation


A, B or R

Covered Hopper



E or G


P, Q or S



Open Hopper

H, J or K




L or F

and by car ownership:  

Owner Type


System Car

Owned by the railroad on which it is located

Foreign RR

Owned by a railroad other than the one on which it is located


Owned by a non-railroad (i.e., has a car initial that ends in “X”) and not leased to a railroad

Train Speed

Train Speed measures the line-haul movement between terminals. The average speed is calculated by dividing train-miles by total hours operated, excluding yard and local trains, passenger trains, maintenance of way trains, and terminal time. System-wide average train speeds are given for the following train types:

  • Intermodal
  • Manifest 
  • Multilevel 
  • Coal Unit 
  • Grain Unit
  • All trains

Terminal Dwell (Hours)

Terminal Dwell is the average time a car resides at the specified terminal location expressed in hours. The measurement begins with a customer release, received interchange, or train arrival event and ends with a customer placement (actual or constructive), delivered or offered in interchange, or train departure event. Cars that move through a terminal on a run-through train are excluded, as are stored, bad ordered, and maintenance of way cars.