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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. railroads boost traffic again in week No. 14, AAR says

U.S. railroads continued to handle more traffic in the year’s 14th week. During the week ending April 10, they originated 288,495 carloads, up 16.4 percent, and 203,549 intermodal loads, up 14.2 percent compared with volume from the same week last year, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR). Carloads increased 16.9 percent in the East and 16.1 percent in the West.

U.S. railroads’ coal volume has remained stable since 2010’s 8th week, and eastern roads’ source for coal-traffic growth remains export metallurgical coal to China, according to Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc.’s weekly “Rail Flash” report.

“A strong winter burn by utilities has drawn stockpiles down from record levels and should support stable coal trends,” Baird analysts said in the report. “However, overall stockpiles remain elevated, limiting upside.”

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported weekly carloads of 74,686 units, up 31 percent, and intermodal volume of 44,046 units, up 17.4 percent year over year. During the week ending April 10, Mexican railroads boosted carloads 68.7 percent to 14,313 units and intermodal loads, 68.7 percent to 6,566 units.

Through 14 weeks, combined volume from 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads reached 5.1 million carloads, up 6.2 percent, and 3.5 million intermodal loads, up 9.3 percent year over year.

For more AAR traffic data on the week ending April 10 and through 14 weeks, follow this link.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/16/2010