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Another strong week of rail data here (via AAR):

“The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported for the week ending Dec. 4, 2010, weekly rail traffic registered gains in the post-holiday week with U.S. freight railroads originating 303,570 carloads, up 6.8 percent compared with the same week last year. Intermodal traffic for the week totaled 235,835 trailers and containers, up 13.8 percent compared with the same week in 2009, with container volume up 15.3 percent and trailer volume up 6.5 percent.

Thirteen of the 19 carload commodity groups increased from the comparable week in 2009. Commodities posting double digit gains in loadings included: metallic ores, up 64 percent; metals and products, up 25.3 percent; crushed stone, sand and gravel, up 24.4 percent; waste and scrap materials, up 22.7 percent; petroleum products, up 13 percent; and coke, up 10.1 percent. Among commodities reporting declines were non-metallic minerals, down 10.1 percent; primary forest products, down 9 percent; and grain mill products, down 6.4 percent.

Carload volume on Eastern railroads was up 4.7 percent compared with last year. In the West, carload volume was up 8.2 percent compared with the same week in 2009.

For the first 48 weeks of 2010, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 13,765,857 carloads, up 7.1 percent from last year, and 10,484,071 trailers or containers, up 14.3 percent from the comparison week in 2009.”

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