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AAR Reports Weekly Rail Traffic Remains up Over 2009

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported that weekly rail traffic remained up over 2009 levels with U.S. railroads originating 286,391 carloads for the week ending Dec. 11, 2010, up 10.2 percent compared with the same week last year. Intermodal traffic for the week totaled 233,935 trailers and containers, up 14.1 percent compared with the same week in 2009, with container volume up 15.9 percent and trailer volume up 6.4 percent.

Fifteen of the 19 carload commodity groups increased from the comparable week in 2009. Commodities posting double digit gains in loadings included: metallic ores, up 98.6 percent; metals and products, up 28.7 percent; farm products excluding grain, up 27.1 percent; stone, clay and glass products, up 24.3 percent; crushed stone, sand and gravel, up 22.3; petroleum products, up 17 percent; lumber and wood products, up 16.3 percent; coal, up 10.5 percent; and chemicals, up 10.3 percent. Commodities reporting declines included non-metallic minerals, down 14.4 percent; grain mill products, down 5.7 percent; motor vehicles and equipment, 5.2 percent; and primary forest products, down 2.7 percent.

Carload volume on Eastern railroads was up .7 percent compared with last year. In the West, carload volume was up 16.9 percent compared with the same week in 2009.

For the first 49 weeks of 2010, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 14,052,248 carloads, up 7.1 percent from last year, and 10,718,006 trailers or containers, up 14.3 percent from the comparison week in 2009.

Canadian railroads reported volume of 74,098 cars for the week, up 10.9 percent from last year, and 47,447 trailers or containers, up 23.6 percent from 2009. For the first 49 weeks of 2010, Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 3,590,915 carloads, up 17 percent from last year, and 2,325,853 trailers or containers, up 15.8 percent from last year.

Mexican railroads reported originated volume of 13,879 cars, up 8.3 percent from the same week last year, and 7,323 trailers or containers, up 7.1 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 49 weeks of 2010 was reported as 674,540 carloads, up 18.6 percent from last year; and 335,515 trailers or containers, up 23 percent.

Combined North American rail volume for the first 49 weeks of 2010 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads totaled 18,317,703 carloads, up 9.3 percent from last year, and 13,379,374 trailers and containers, up 14.8 percent from last year.

The AAR has announced several changes to certain carload commodity groups reported in the Weekly Rail Traffic Report that will take effect in Week 1 of 2011. Commodity Group 18, Waste and Scrap Materials, will be split into two groups, Iron and Steel Scrap (Group 18) and Waste and Nonferrous Scrap (Group 19). Commodity Group 19 will be renumbered to Commodity Group 20. Crude Petroleum will be moved from the new Commodity Group 20 to Commodity Group 13, Petroleum Products. Finally, Distiller’s Dried Grains will be moved from Commodity Group 8 to Commodity Group 7, Grain Mill Products. Rail traffic data for 2010 will be restated to maintain consistency for the year-to-year comparison.

For more information, visit www.aar.org.

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