Research Reports

An Analysis of Canadian Rail Movements to the United States Using the 1992 Public Use Waybill Sample

Principal Investigator:

Jerry Fruin, Dan Halbach

March 1994

Report no. Mn/DOT P94-5

Topics: Freight, Rail

The United States and Canada share a common border and have long been each other's major trading partners. Railroads serving the two countries have historically had a common gauge and similar equipment, so cross-border shipments have been common for some types of freight and commodities. The recent passage of NAFTA will further integrate the economies of the United States and Canada along with that of Mexico. (Mexico also has a common gauge and a potential for a vast increase in rail traffic movements to and from both countries to its north.) This paper demonstrates a method to analyze rail traffic from Canada to the United States using the 1992 ICC Public Use Waybill Sample. This procedure will be useful to track changes in trade flows by rail between the two countries and in analyzing critical rail infrastructure needs critical for increased trade on both sides of the border (and eventually to and from Mexico).

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