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The AAR is reporting another strong week for rail traffic as compared to 2009.  2008 comps remains a bit more sluggish, however:

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported that weekly rail traffic continues to maintain a steady pace with U.S. railroads originating 299,394 carloads for the week ending Oct. 2, 2010, up 7.7 percent compared with the same week in 2009, but down 10.7 percent from the same week in 2008. In order to offer a complete picture of the progress in rail traffic, AAR reports 2010 weekly rail traffic with comparison weeks in both 2009 and 2008.

Intermodal traffic on U.S. railroads totaled 240,252 trailers and containers, up 16.5 percent from the same week in 2009, but down 1.9 percent compared with 2008. Container volume last week increased 17.6 percent compared with 2009, and rose 5.8 percent compared with 2008. Trailer volume last week rose 10.2 percent compared with 2009, but dropped 30.6 percent compared with 2008.

Sixteen of the 19 carload commodity groups increased from the comparable week in 2009 with metallic ores up 112.2 percent, taking the lead. Commodity groups posting declines included non-metallic minerals, down 11.5 percent, grain mill products, down 3.9 percent, and primary forest products, down 2.3 percent. Compared with 2008, sixteen commodity groups posted declines. Farm products excluding grain, up 4.5 percent, led the five commodity groups posting increases from 2008.

Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was up 1.3 percent from last year, but down 17.1 percent from 2008. In the West, weekly carload volume was up 12.2 percent from last year and down 6.2 percent from two years ago.

For the first 39 weeks of 2010, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 11,128,229 carloads, up 7.2 percent from 2009, but down 12.3 percent from 2008, and 8,422,706 trailers or containers, up 14.7 percent from 2009, but down 4.6 percent from 2008.

Source: AAR

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