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The trend in rail traffic just refuses to go negative.  The economically sensitive rail industry continues to point to growth.  And if this week’s data is any indication then things are picking up a little bit.  Carloads surged 11.7% year over year while intermodal jumped 6%.  All in all, a good sign.  The AAR has more details:

“The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported gains in weekly rail traffic, with U.S. railroads originating 304,377 carloads for the week ending Dec. 17, 2011, up 11.7 percent compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week totaled 233,322 trailers and containers, up 6 percent compared with the same week last year.

Fourteen of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2010, including: metallic ores, up 57.1 percent; nonmetallic minerals, up 38 percent, and crushed stone, sand and gravel, up 29 percent. The groups showing a decrease in weekly traffic included: farm products excluding grain, down 9.8 percent.

Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was up 23 percent compared with the same week last year. In the West, weekly carload volume was up 5.4 percent compared with the same week in 2010.

For the first 50 weeks of 2011, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 14,623,189 carloads, up 2.1 percent from the same point last year, and 11,493,262 trailers and containers, up 5.1 percent from last year.”

Source: AAR

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