Rail traffic posted mixed results this week with carloads showing flat originations and intermodal traffic posting 3% year over year gains. Year to date carloads are up 1.7% which I believe is consistent with a growing but weak economy. The good news is this data isn’t showing declines, however, we are not seeing a substantial moderation in growth. AAR reports on this week’s results (via AAR):
“The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported mixed results for weekly rail traffic, with U.S. railroads originating 303,363 carloads for the week ending Oct. 15, 2011, which is flat compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week totaled 244,389 trailers and containers, up 3 percent compared with the same week last year.
Eleven of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases from the comparable week in 2010, including: metallic ores, up 28.1 percent; metals and products, up 18 percent, and petroleum products, up 17.2 percent. The groups showing a decrease in weekly traffic included: grain, down 14.8 percent, and waste and nonferrous scrap, down 9.5 percent.
Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was up 0.4 percent compared with the same week last year. In the West, weekly carload volume was down 0.2 percent compared with the same week in 2010.
For the first 41 weeks of 2011, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 11,935,013 carloads, up 1.7 percent from the same point last year, and 9,367,614 trailers and containers, up 5.3 percent from last year.”