July carload traffic advanced 4.1% compared with the comparable 2009 month, the Association of American Railroads said, but AAR also noted “roughly 23.4% of the North America railcar fleet,” or 349,471 cars, remains sidelined. Though industry analysts say some of those cars will be retired or scrapped instead of being returned to duty, the amount of stored equipment remains significant.
July’s traffic still lagged behind July 2008 totals by 14.6%, AAR said. Intermodal continues to show more strength, up 17.3% in July compared with a year ago and down 5.1% from July 2008.
In addition, “Seasonally adjusted AAR data showed month-to-month gains in carloads for July, up 3.2% from June 2010, as well as intermodal traffic, up 2.4% from the previous month,” AAR said.