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AAR Reports Record Gains in Weekly Carload Traffic

April 8, 2011
The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported record gains in rail traffic for the week ending April 2, 2011, with U.S. railroads originating 305,905 carloads, up 5.7 percent compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week was also up 19.4 percent compared with the same week last year, totaling 234,308 trailers and containers. This week's carload total is the highest since late 2008. The comparison week from 2010 includes the Good Friday holiday.

Fifteen of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases from the comparable week in 2010. Those groups posting significant increases included: motor vehicles and equipment, up 25.7 percent; metallic ores, up 23.4 percent, and metals and products, up 19.5 percent. The commodity groups reporting a notable drop in weekly traffic were primary forest products, down 29.3 percent, and waste and nonferrous scrap, down 12.4 percent.

Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was up 5 percent compared with the same week last year. In the West, weekly carload volume was up 6.1 percent compared with the same week in 2010.

For the first 13 weeks of 2011, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 3,773,949 carloads, up 5.1 percent from last year, and 2,856,227 trailers and containers, up 8.7 percent from the same point in 2010.

Canadian railroads reported 78,728 carloads for the week, up 11 percent from last year, and 46,612 trailers and containers, up 11.1 percent from 2010. For the first 13 weeks of 2011, Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 932,801 carloads, down .1 percent from the same point last year, and 588,588 trailers and containers, up 3.7 percent from last year.

Mexican railroads reported 15,338 carloads for the week, up 40.5 percent compared with the same week last year, and 6,986 trailers and containers, up 38.1 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 13 weeks of 2011 was 189,403 carloads, up 9.1 percent compared with the same point last year, and 91,862 trailers and containers, up 10 percent.

Combined North American rail volume for the first 13 weeks of 2011 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads totaled 4,896,153 carloads, up 4.2 percent compared with the same point last year, and 3,536,677 trailers and containers, up 7.9 percent compared with last year.

For more information, visit www.aar.org.