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Rail News: Intermodal

U.S. railroads register carload gain in April's first week, AAR says


March was a carload traffic downer for U.S. railroads, but they're off to a good start in April. During the month's first week ending April 5, the roads originated 330,371 carloads, up 3.6 percent compared with volume from the same week in 2007, according to Association of American Railroads data.

However, intermodal traffic totaling 216,609 containers and trailers declined 1.1 percent. Trailer volume edged up 0.7 percent and container volume dropped 1.6 percent.

Through 2008's first 14 weeks, U.S. railroads originated 4.5 million carloads, up 1.3 percent, and 3 million containers and trailers, down 3.9 percent compared with totals from the same 2007 period. Total volume reached an estimated 465.8 billion ton-miles, up 2.5 percent year over year.

Canadian railroads reported reverse results for April's first week. Carloads totaling 79,008 units decreased 0.4 percent while intermodal volume totaling 48,079 units rose 3.8 percent compared with totals from the same week in 2007. Through 14 weeks, Canadian roads originated 1 million carloads, down 2.3 percent, and 642,003 intermodal loads, up 4.6 percent year over year.

On a combined cumulative-volume basis through 14 weeks, reporting U.S. and Canadian railroads originated 5.5 million carloads, up 0.6 percent, and 3.7 million containers and trailers, down 2.5 percent compared with totals from the same 2007 period.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/11/2008