The recovery in rail traffic is continuing according to the AAR, however, growth has definitely begun to moderate on a year over year basis (via AAR):
“The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported that weekly rail traffic saw modest year-over-year gains for the week ending Jan. 22, 2011 with U.S. railroads originating 282,837 carloads, up 1.5 percent compared with the same week in 2010. Intermodal volume for the week totaled 213,206 trailers and containers, up 6.2 percent compared with the same week in 2010, with container volume up 6.8 percent and trailer volume up 2.8 percent.
Eleven of the 20 carload commodity groups saw increases from the comparable week in 2010. Commodities that posted significant carload gains included: metallic ores, up 48.1 percent, and metals and products, up 20.6 percent. Commodity groups reporting double digit declines were nonmetallic minerals, down 18 percent, and waste and nonferrous scrap, down 16.6 percent.
Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was down 2 percent compared with last year. In the West, weekly carload volume was up 4 percent compared with the same week in 2010.
For the first three weeks of 2011, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 851,146 carloads, up 9.2 percent from last year, and 640,357 trailers and containers, up 6.8 percent from the comparison week in 2010.”