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RAIL RECOVERY CHUGS ALONG

Another week of rail data, another week of solid data (via the AAR):

The Association of American Railroads today reported that rail traffic continues to maintain a steady pace with U.S. railroads originating 286,854 carloads for the week ending July 24, 2010, up 4.7 percent compared with the same week in 2009, but down 13.5 percent from pre-recession levels in 2008. In order to offer a complete picture of the progress in rail traffic, AAR reports 2010 weekly rail traffic with comparison weeks in both 2009 and 2008.Intermodal traffic totaled 230,443 trailers and containers, up 19.2 percent from the same week a year ago and down only 2.1 percent compared with 2008. Compared with the same week in 2009, container volume increased 21.1 percent and trailer volume rose 9.3 percent. Compared with the same week in 2008, container volume increased 6.4 percent and trailer volume dropped 33.4 percent.

Fifteen of the 19 carload commodity groups increased from the comparable week in 2009. Those groups posting the most significant gains were metallic ores, up 56.3 percent; metals and products, up 31.2 percent; motor vehicles and equipment, up 29 percent; and farm products excluding grain, up 25.8 percent. Farm products excluding grain, up 5.6 percent, was the only commodity group to post an increase over 2008 levels.

Carload volume on Eastern railroads was up 4.3 percent from last year, but down 16.4 percent from 2008. In the West, carload volume was up 4.9 percent from last year but down 11.5 percent from two years ago.

For the first 29 weeks of 2010, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 8,160,979 carloads, up 7.2 percent from 2009, but down 13.2 percent from 2008, and 6,085,950 trailers or containers, up 13.3 percent from 2009, but down 6.3 percent from 2008.

Source: AAR

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