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Rail Traffic Continues to Show Signs of Improvement

Despite cratering commodities and a weakening global economy domestic rail traffic continues to show signs of strength. Carloads were down -2.5% on a year over year basis, but intermodal jumped 5.2%.   The 10 week moving average for intermodal is now at 4.2%, it’s highest rate since February.   AAR has the details on this week’s data:

“The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported mixed weekly rail traffic for the week ending June 16, 2012, with U.S. railroads originating 287,036 carloads, down 2.5 percent compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week totaled 249,975 trailers and containers, up 5.2 percent compared with the same week last year.

Twelve of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2011, with petroleum products, up 50.3 percent; motor vehicles and equipment, up 22.6 percent, and coke, up 11.1 percent. The groups showing a decrease in weekly traffic included metallic ore, down 18.5 percent; nonmetallic minerals, down 15.2 percent, and iron and steel scrap, down 12.6 percent.

Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was down 3.3 percent compared with the same week last year. In the West, weekly carload volume was down 2 percent compared with the same week in 2011.

For the first 24 weeks of 2012, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 6,757,454 carloads, down 3 percent from the same point last year, and 5,550,105 trailers and containers, up 3.1 percent from last year.”

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