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RAIL TRAFFIC DATA MIXED, BUT STILL TRENDING STRONGLY

Weekly rail data posted mixed gains this week with carloads going negative and intermodal remaining quite strong.  Overall intermodal posted a 5.5% gain versus the same week last year.  This is in-line with the 10 week trend of 5.1%.  The AAR provides more details:

“AAR reported mixed weekly rail traffic for the week ending January 28, 2012, with U.S. railroads originating 283,654 carloads, down 2.8 percent compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week totaled 235,028 trailers and containers, up 5.5 percent compared with the same week last year.

Eleven of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2011, with metallic ores, up 59.2 percent; motor vehicles and equipment, up 25.1 percent, and petroleum products, up 22.2 percent. The groups showing a significant decrease in weekly traffic included farm products excluding grain, down 24.3 percent; grain, down 19.8 percent, and primary forest products, down 10.7 percent.

Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was down 1.6 percent compared with the same week last year. In the West, weekly carload volume was down 3.6 percent compared with the same week in 2011.”

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