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Carloads and intermodal rail traffic are both showing growth this week after some mixed results in recent data.  Carloads posted a 1.3% year over year gain while intermodal continued to show relatively good growth at 4.3%.  The breadth of the growth was a bit better this week with 16 of the commodity groups showing gains.  Coal continues to drag on the overall data.  The 10 week moving average for intermodal was flat this week at 3.3%.  More details on this week’s data are available via AAR:

“The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported gains for weekly rail traffic for the week ending May 26, 2012, with U.S. railroads originating 291,381 carloads, up 1.3 percent compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week totaled 244,726 trailers and containers, up 4.3 percent compared with the same week last year.

Sixteen of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2011, with petroleum products, up 51.6 percent; motor vehicles and equipment, up 29.2 percent, grain mill products, up 10.4 percent, and iron and steel scrap, up 10.4 percent. The groups showing a decrease in weekly traffic included grain, down 10 percent, and coal, down 6.3 percent.

Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was down 4.1 percent compared with the same week last year. In the West, weekly carload volume was up 5.1 percent compared with the same week in 2011.

For the first 21 weeks of 2012, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 5,919,340 carloads, down 3.1 percent from the same point last year, and 4,839,797 trailers and containers, up 2.9 percent from last year.”


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