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AAR Reports Continued Gains in Weekly Carload and Intermodal Traffic

March 21, 2011
The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported rail traffic gains for the week ending March 12, 2011, with U.S. railroads originating 292,164 carloads, up 1.3 percent compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week was also up, totaling 216,828 trailers and containers, up 6.5 percent compared with the same week in 2010.

Twelve of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases from the comparable week in 2010. Those groups posting significant increases included: metallic ores, up 105.3 percent; pulp, paper and allied products, up 17.9 percent, and motor vehicles and equipment, up 17.7 percent. The commodity groups reporting a notable drop in weekly traffic were waste and nonferrous scrap, down 13.7 percent and primary forest products, down 12.6 percent.

Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was down 2.8 percent compared with last year. In the West, weekly carload volume was up 4.2 percent compared with the same week in 2010.

For the first 10 weeks of 2011, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 2,870,806 carloads, up 5.5 percent from last year, and 2,176,100 trailers and containers, up 7.8 percent from the same point in 2010.

Canadian railroads reported 71,533 carloads for the week, down 3.9 percent from last year, and 42,009 trailers and containers, down 2.7 percent from 2010. For the first 10 weeks of 2011, Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 701,633 carloads, down 1.6 percent from the same point last year, and 449,059 trailers and containers, up 3.2 percent from last year.

Mexican railroads reported 15,545 carloads for the week, up 14.1 percent compared with the same week last year, and 6,488 trailers and containers, down 15.1 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 10 weeks of 2011 was 143,963 carloads, up 6.4 percent compared with the same point last year, and 71,530 trailers and containers, up 8.5 percent.

Combined North American rail volume for the first 10 weeks of 2011 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads totaled 3,716,402 carloads, up 4.1 percent compared with the same point last year, and 2,696,689 trailers and containers, up 7 percent compared with last year.