Friday, January 29, 2010

U.S. rail traffic up slightly from last year

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U. S. rail freight traffic is showing "slight improvement" over 2009 but remains "sharply down" when compared with pre-recession 2008, the Association  for American Railroads said today.

For the week ending Jan. 23, 2010, U.S. railroads originated 277,420 carloads, up 3.9%  from the same week in 2009 and down 11.1%"from the same week in 2008. Intermodal traffic totaled 200,807 trailers and containers, up 2.9 % from a year ago and off  4.4% from 2008.

The AAR said that 13 of the 19 carload to commodity groups were up from last year,  with 10 of them posting double-digit increases. ranging from  5.5% for grain to 103.8% for nonmetallic minerals. Declines  ranged from 25.7% for the catch-all category "all other carloads" to 3.1%  for coal.

Total volume on U.S. railroads for the week ending Jan. 23, 2009 was estimated at 30.2 billion ton-miles, up 4.9 percent from  last year and down 7.9 %to from 2007.

Canadian railroads reported  73,354 carloads for the week, up 13.5% from last year, and 44,295 trailers or containers, up 7.4%.

Mexican railroads reported originated volume of 14,867 cars, up 29.8% from the same week last year, and 6,960 trailers or containers, up 41.6%.

Combined North American rail volume for the first 3 weeks of 2010 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 1,032,527 carloads, up 1.7 % from last year, and 750,539 trailers and containers, up 2.3 %.