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RAIL TRAFFIC CONTINUES TO SEE GAINS

Courtesy of the AAR:

The Association of American Railroads today reported that for the week ended May 8, 2010, U.S. freight railroads continued to experience traffic gains for the 11th consecutive week. U.S. railroads originated 288,905 carloads last week, up 14.7 percent from the comparable week in 2009. However, carloads were still down 13.9 percent from the same week in 2008. In order to offer a complete picture of the progress in rail traffic, AAR now reports 2010 weekly rail traffic with comparison weeks in both 2009 and 2008.

Intermodal traffic totaled 208,809 trailers and containers, up 14 percent from last year but down 9.2 percent from 2008. Compared with the same week in 2009, container volume increased 15.9 percent while trailer volume rose 4.3 percent. Compared with the same week in 2008, container volume was down 2.2 percent while trailer volume fell 34.7 percent.

Total volume was estimated at 32.2 billion ton-miles, up 16.2 percent from last year but down 8.8 percent from 2008.

Carload volume on Eastern railroads was up 16.3 percent from last year, but down 20.1 percent from 2008. In the West, carload volume was up 13.7 percent from last year but down 9.1 percent from two years ago.

Eighteen of 19 carload commodity groups were up from last year, led by a 99.7 percent jump in metals and a 70.2 percent gain in metallic ores. Loadings of motor vehicles and equipment were up 50.8 percent; waste and scrap was up 31.6 percent; and lumber and wood products gained 23.4 percent. Chemicals rose 14.6 percent, grain was up 8.6 percent and coal was up 8.3 percent from last year. The only commodity not to increase was grain mill products, down 4.8 percent.

Source: AAR

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