The latest weekly data out of the AAR shows no signs of economic recovery:
The Association of American Railroads today reported that rail traffic continues to reflect the sluggish economy with traffic remaining down year over year for the week ended July 18, 2009. U.S railroads reported originating 268,553 cars, down 17.9 percent compared with the same week in 2008.
Intermodal volume of 189,541 trailers or containers was down 18.8 percent from the same week last year. Container volume fell 13.5 percent and trailer volume dropped 38.6 percent. Total volume on U.S. railroads for the week ending July 11 was estimated at 28.7 billion ton-miles, off 17.3 percent from the same week last year.
Seventeen of the 19 carload freight commodity groups were down from last year with declines ranging from 11 percent for chemicals to 51.6 percent for metallic ores. The commodity group showing a significant increase over last year was farm products other than grain, which was up 19.8 percent.
Combined North American rail volume for the first 28 weeks of 2009 on 14 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 9,321,856 carloads, down 19.9 percent from last year, and 6,437,715 trailers and containers, down 17.1 percent from last year.