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The expansion in rail traffic continued according to the latest data from the AAR. Total carloads rose 2.4% while intermodal traffic jumped 7.2% when compared to 2010.   The AAR elaborates on the data:

“The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported rail traffic for the week ending Feb. 26, 2011, saw gains with U.S. railroads originating 296,252 carloads, up 2.4 percent compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week was also up, totaling 220,589 trailers and containers, up 7.2 percent compared with the same week in 2010.Fourteen of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases from the comparable week in 2010. Those groups posting significant increases included: metallic ores, up 78.2; nonmetallic minerals, up 12.4 percent; and stone, clay and glass products, up 10.4 percent. Those commodity groups reporting a significant drop in weekly traffic included: waste and nonferrous scrap, down 17.2 percent; grain mill products, down 16 percent; farm products except grain, down 15.4 percent, and primary forest products, down 10.8 percent.

Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was up 1.7 percent compared with last year. In the West, weekly carload volume was up 3 percent compared with the same week in 2010.

For the first eight weeks of 2011, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 2,277,689 carloads, up 6.1 percent from last year, and 1,744,929 trailers and containers, up 8.9 percent from the same point in 2010.”

Source: AAR