The AAR is reporting a continuing surge in rail traffic as signs of recovery become more and more apparent. U.S. railroads originated 296,599 carloads for the week ending April 17th. This was 16.1% higher year over year and down 11.6% from 2008. This was the highest level since December of 2008. Intermodal traffic totaled 209,903, up 14.6% year over year and down 6.3% versus 2008.
The AAR reports the breadth of the traffic was quite strong:
“Eighteen of 19 carload commodity groups were up from last year, led by a 177.5 percent jump in loadings of metallic ores. Other notable increases included 68.8 percent for metals, 49 percent for motor vehicles and equipment, 46.4 percent for nonmetallic minerals and 34.5 percent for primary forest products. Grain was up 12.2 percent, and coal gained 9.6 percent. The only commodity registering a decline was pulp, paper and allied products, off 6.7 percent.”