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Rail traffic continued its meager growth this week as both carloads and intermodal traffic posted low single digit year over year gains.  The recent rail trends are certainly consistent with a slowing and stagnant economic environment.  The AAR details this week’s results:

“The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported modest gains in weekly rail traffic, with U.S. railroads originating 291,909 carloads for the week ending July 23, 2011, up 1.4 percent compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week totaled 232,181 trailers and containers, up 0.8 percent compared with the same week last year.

Twelve of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases from the comparable week in 2010, including: metallic ores, up 53.2 percent; iron and steel scrap, up 24.5 percent, and crushed stone, sand and gravel, up 16.8 percent. Groups showing a decrease in weekly traffic included: farm products excluding grain, down 13.5 percent; waste and nonferrous scrap, down 10.2 percent, and primary forest products, down 10.1 percent.

Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was up 0.7 percent compared with the same week last year. In the West, weekly carload volume was up 1.8 percent compared with the same week in 2010.

For the first 29 weeks of 2011, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 8,358,097 carloads, up 2.4 percent from the same point last year, and 6,511,257 trailers and containers, up 7 percent from last year.”

Source: AAR