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Rail News: Intermodal

More coal, grain and metallic ore moves help U.S. roads increase weekly carloads, AAR says

U.S. railroads posted another weekly carload gain, thanks to healthy coal, grain, and metallic ore demand. During the week ending May 10, the roads originated 337,103 carloads, up 5 percent compared with volume from the same week last year, according to Association of American Railroads data.

Metallic ores traffic jumped 27.8 percent, grain carloads shot up 18.2 percent and coal volume rose 11.9 percent.

However, intermodal volume totaling 229,969 containers and trailers declined 1.1 percent year over year.

Through 2008's first 19 weeks, U.S. railroads originated 6.2 million carloads, up 1.3 percent, and 4.2 million intermodal loads, down 3.4 percent compared with totals from the same 2007 period. Total volume reached an estimated 639.3 billion ton-miles, representing a 2.5 percent increase.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads continued to post opposite traffic results. During the week ending May 10, their carloads decreased 4.5 percent to 76,870 units, but intermodal volume increased 2.7 percent to 49,455 units vs. last year's totals. Through 19 weeks, Canadian railroads' carloads totaling 1.4 million units were down 3.7 percent and intermodal volume totaling 889,943 units was up 4.3 percent year over year.

On a combined cumulative-volume basis through 19 weeks, reporting U.S. and Canadian railroads originated 7.6 million carloads, up 0.3 percent, and 5 million containers and trailers, down 2.1 percent compared with totals from the same 2007 period.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/19/2008