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AAR Reports Mixed Weekly Rail Traffic Results

April 29, 2011
The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported mixed results in weekly rail traffic on U.S. railroads, with carloads down 2.1 percent, at 292,706 carloads for the week ending April 23, 2011, and intermodal volume up 6.3 percent compared with the same week last year, totaling 225,668 trailers and containers. Issues affecting the weekly figures include severe weather across a large portion of the Midwest and Southeastern U.S., as well as a non-holiday week in the 2010 comparison week.

Only six of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases from the comparable week in 2010. Those groups posting notable increases included: grain, up 20.4 percent, and coke, up 16.5 percent. Commodity groups reporting notable drops in weekly traffic were primary forest products, down 23.3 percent; waste and nonferrous scrap, down 20.1 percent, and iron and steel scrap, down 14.3 percent.

Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was down 7.8 percent compared with the same week last year. In the West, weekly carload volume was up 2.1 percent compared with the same week in 2010.

For the first 16 weeks of 2011, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 4,655,879 carloads, up 4 percent from last year, and 3,541,068 trailers and containers, up 8.9 percent from the same point in 2010.

Canadian railroads reported 75,589 carloads for the week, up 1 percent from last year, and 46,114 trailers and containers, up 0.6 percent from 2010. For the first 16 weeks of 2011, Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 1,162,577 carloads, up 0.5 percent from the same point last year, and 730,038 trailers and containers, up 3.6 percent from last year.

Mexican railroads reported 11,441 carloads for the week, down 18.3 percent compared with the same week last year, and 6,352 trailers and containers, up 1.8 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 16 weeks of 2011 was 231,362 carloads, up 7.6 percent compared with the same point last year, and 112,891 trailers and containers, up 9 percent.

Combined North American rail volume for the first 16 weeks of 2011 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads totaled 6,049,818 carloads, up 3.5 percent compared with the same point last year, and 4,383,997 trailers and containers, up 7.9 percent compared with last year.

For more information, visit www.aar.org.