But their intermodal traffic rose for the 36th straight month, climbing 1.2 percent to 934,595 units. In addition, carloads excluding coal (which tumbled 12.8 percent) and grain (which fell 10.7 percent) increased 5.5 percent.
"Coal and grain together account for almost half of non-intermodal U.S. rail traffic, so they are obviously very important to railroads. But … other commodity categories like autos, lumber, crushed stone, sand and gravel that are more highly correlated with economic growth have been growing, which we hope is a good sign for the economy moving forward," said AAR Senior Vice President John Gray in a prepared statement.
For the week ending Dec. 1, U.S. railroads reported 305,708 carloads, down 2 percent, and 241,411 intermodal loads, down 1.1 percent year over year.
Canadian railroads' weekly carloads dipped 0.7 percent to 78,774 units and intermodal volume declined 2 percent to 49,783 units, while Mexican railroads' weekly carloads rose 6.3 percent to 15,113 units and intermodal volume climbed 15.1 percent to 10,722 units.
Through 2012's first 48 weeks, 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads handled 17,999,168 carloads, down 1.9 percent, and 14,347,093 containers and trailers, up 4.3 percent compared with the same 2011 period.
Browse articles on rail traffic on Progressive Railroading
- Amtrak service to Norfolk will provide a much-needed option for Northeast Corridor travelers, Virginia rail department says
- Class I railroads' outlook for 2013 is a smidgen on the optimistic side
- MAP-21 gives transit execs some certainty in 2013
- Rail outlook 2013; reading the rail-car order barometer (Pat Foran, Context, December 2012)
- For Norfolk Southern, a new intermodal initiative is paying off in shorter trains and efficiency gains
- Amtrak reorganization outlined during House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing
- Tracy DeLeon, League of Railway Industry Women's 2012 'woman of the year,' talks career success
- Positive train control a tall order for short line railroads
- U.S. locomotive order activity has slowed, but demand for GenSets is up for some motive power manufacturers
- Rail-car deliveries to drop to 47,000 in 2013 — by Toby Kolstad
- Track inspection equipment and services update
- Domestic container volume up in 3Q, IANA says; plus, freight rail traffic data
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