Rail Freight Climbs, With Intermodal Strong

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reports that for the first 10 months of 2005, total U.S. freight was up 146,298 carloads -- just 1% year over year -- to 14,330,739 carloads. For the year through October, 13 of the 19 major commodity categories tracked by AAR saw gains for U.S. railroads.

Reflecting on weather-related problems, Craig R. Rockey, AAR vp, noted that, “Residual effects of the hurricanes in Texas and the Gulf Coast, heavy rains in Kansas that washed out key tracks and damaged bridges, and other weather-related problems negatively affected rail traffic in October.”

The Intermodal Association of North America noted in its third quarter report that international volumes grew – up 10.2% -- in all of the domestic regions it monitors, with the greatest gain coming in the Northwest. The only decline – down a modest 2.1% -- came in trailer traffic. Overall, for the quarter, traffic was up 5.6%.

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