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AAR Reports Continued Gains in Weekly Carload and Intermodal Traffic

April 1, 2011
The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported rail traffic gains for the week ending March 26, 2011, with U.S. railroads originating 299,903 carloads, up 1.9 percent compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week was also up 5.7 percent compared with the same week last year, totaling 223,034 trailers and containers.

Eleven of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases from the comparable week in 2010. Those groups posting significant increases included: pulp, paper and allied products, up 19.4 percent; motor vehicles and equipment, up 12.7 percent; chemicals, up 12.1 percent, and petroleum products, up 12.1 percent. The commodity groups reporting a notable drop in weekly traffic were primary forest products, down 20.6 percent; coke, down 15.4 percent, and waste and nonferrous scrap, down 11.1 percent.

Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was down 1.4 percent compared with the same week last year. In the West, weekly carload volume was up 4.2 percent compared with the same week in 2010.

For the first 12 weeks of 2011, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 3,468,044 carloads, up 5 percent from last year, and 2,621,919 trailers and containers, up 7.9 percent from the same point in 2010.

Canadian railroads reported 77,241 carloads for the week, up 2.4 percent from last year, and 46,455 trailers and containers, up 1.9 percent from 2010. For the first 12 weeks of 2011, Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 854,073 carloads, down 1 percent from the same point last year, and 541,976 trailers and containers, up 3.1 percent from last year.

Mexican railroads reported 15,256 carloads for the week, up 4.1 percent compared with the same week last year, and 6,593 trailers and containers, down 0.4 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 12 weeks of 2011 was 174,065 carloads, up 7 percent compared with the same point last year, and 84,876 trailers and containers, up 8.2 percent.

Combined North American rail volume for the first 12 weeks of 2011 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads totaled 4,496,182 carloads, up 3.9 percent compared with the same point last year, and 3,248,771 trailers and containers, up 7 percent compared with last year.

For more information, visit www.aar.org.