Rail Traffic Is Still Posting Gains Over 2009

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) has reported that weekly rail traffic continues to post gains over 2009 levels with U.S. railroads originating 297,029 carloads for the week ending Oct. 9, 2010, up 8.8% compared with the same week last year. AAR will no longer report 2010 weekly rail traffic with comparison weekly data in 2008 since October 2008 marked the beginning of the recession-related downturn in rail traffic.

Intermodal traffic for the week totaled 236,272 trailers and containers, up 13.1% compared with the same week a year ago, with container volume up 14.1% and trailer volume up 7.4%.

Fifteen of the 19 carload commodity groups increased from the comparable week in 2009, with metallic ores posting the most significant gain, up 199.7%. Commodity groups posting declines included non-metallic minerals, down 18.9%, primary forest products, down 5.6%, grain mill products, down 2.7%, and food and kindred products, down 0.7%.

Carload volume on Eastern railroads was up 4.7% compared with last year. In the West, carload volume was up 11.6% from the same week in 2009.

For the first 40 weeks of 2010, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 11,425,258 carloads, up 7.2% from last year, and 8,658,978 trailers or containers, up 14.7% from the comparison week in 2009.

Canadian railroads reported volume of 75,084 cars for the week, up 10.9% from last year, and 52,120 trailers or containers, up 15.1% from 2009. For the first 40 weeks of 2010, Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 2,912,392 carloads, up 19.1% from last year, and 1,890,736 trailers or containers, up 15.8% from last year.

Mexican railroads reported originated volume of 13,573 cars, up 16.2% from the same week last year, and 8,102 trailers or containers, up 14.9%. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 40 weeks of 2010 was reported as 549,304 carloads, up 20.4% from last year; and 268,864 trailers or containers, up 27.4%.

Combined North American rail volume for the first 40 weeks of 2010 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 14,886,954 carloads, up 9.8% from last year, and 10,818,578 trailers and containers, up 15.1% from last year.

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