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AAR Reports Rail Traffic Continues to Show Improvement

October 22, 2010
The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reports that weekly rail traffic continues to show improvement over 2009 levels with U.S. railroads originating 303,664 carloads for the week ending Oct. 16, 2010, up 10.1 percent compared with the same week last year. AAR will no longer report 2010 weekly rail traffic with 2008 weekly comparison data since October 2008 marked the beginning of the recession-related downturn in rail traffic.

Intermodal traffic for the week totaled 237,180 trailers and containers, up 15.1 percent compared with the same week a year ago, with container volume up 15.8 percent and trailer volume up 11.1 percent.

Fourteen of the 19 carload commodity groups increased from the comparable week in 2009, with metallic ores continuing to post the most significant gain, up 183.2 percent. Stone, clay, and glass products, up 32 percent; crushed stone, sand, and gravel, up 30.9 percent; grain, up 20.1 percent; and metals and products, up 20 percent, also posted notable increases.  Commodity groups posting declines were led by non-metallic minerals, down 25.9 percent.

Carload volume on Eastern railroads was up 5.8 percent compared with last year. In the West, carload volume was up 13.1 percent from the same week in 2009.
For the first 41 weeks of 2010, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 11,728,922 carloads, up 7.3 percent from last year, and 8,896,158 trailers or containers, up 14.7 percent from the comparison week in 2009.

Canadian railroads reported volume of 77,728 cars for the week, up 12.3 percent from last year, and 48,436 trailers or containers, up 16 percent from 2009. For the first 41 weeks of 2010, Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 2,990,120 carloads, up 18.9 percent from last year, and 1,939,172 trailers or containers, up 15.8 percent from last year.

Mexican railroads reported originated volume of 14,332 cars, up 16.8 percent from the same week last year, and 8,025 trailers or containers, up 14.2 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 41 weeks of 2010 was reported as 563,636 carloads, up 20.3 percent from last year; and 276,889 trailers or containers, up 27 percent.

Combined North American rail volume for the first 41 weeks of 2010 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads totaled 15,282,678 carloads, up 9.8 percent from last year, and 11,112,219 trailers and containers, up 15.1 percent from last year.

For more information, visit www.aar.org.