Rail Freight Has Another Record-Breaking Year

The increases were consistent across the board, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR). Total freight volume reached 1.74 trillion ton-miles in 2006, a jump of 2.5% from 2005. Carloads were up 1.2% year over year, with a total of 17.380,102. Intermodal loadings had the greatest percentage gain, up 5% (588.709 trailers and containers), with a total of 12,282,221 loadings.

The gains were despite declines in automotive and housing markets, especially in the last six months of 2005, according to AAR. By far, coal (up 4.7%) represented the largest commodity transported, with chemicals (down 1.1%); grain; crushed stone, sand & gravel (down 5.2%) and motor vehicles & equipment (down 6.0%) following, in that order.

For the year, Canadian carload traffic, at 3,844,456 units, was down 1.9% (73,473 carloads). Intermodal traffic, however, was up 5.1% (114, 211 units) to 2,356,978 trailers and containers for all of 2006.

For the year, 592,025 carloads were carried on Kansas City Southern dé Mexico, down 2.5% (14,989 carloads) although intermodal traffic rose 0.2% (344 units) to 212,420 trailers and containers.

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