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Rail News: Intermodal

U.S. railroads boost carloads for second-straight week, AAR says

Boosted by a 16.4 percent rise in grain traffic, U.S. railroads increased carloads in February's second week — making the roads two-for-two in weekly carload gains so far this month, according to the Association of American Railroads.

During the period ending Feb. 16, U.S. railroads originated 320,059 carloads, up 4.6 percent compared with the total from the same week last year. In addition to grain, 12 other commodities registered year-over-year gains.

However, intermodal volume totaled 219,727 containers and trailers, down 1.5 percent compared with week No. 7's total in 2007.

Through 2008's first seven weeks, U.S. roads originated 2.2 million carloads, up 1.5 percent, and 1.5 million containers and trailers, down 3.1 percent year over year. Volume totaled an estimated 227.8 billion ton-miles, representing a 2.7 percent increase compared with volume from 2007's first seven weeks.

Canadian railroads had a good week on both sides of the traffic ledger. During the period ending Feb. 16, they originated 72,267 cars, up 9.3 percent, and 45,206 containers and trailers, up 7.3 percent year over year.

Through seven weeks, their carloads totaling 506,181 units dipped slightly (by 0.9 percent), but intermodal volume totaling 318,664 units rose 8 percent compared with totals from 2007's first seven weeks.

On a combined cumulative-volume basis through seven weeks, reporting U.S. and Canadian railroads originated 2.7 million carloads, up 1 percent, and 1.8 million containers and trailers, down 1.3 percent year over year.

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More News from 2/25/2008