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Rail News: Intermodal

U.S. railroads register another coal and grain uptick on way to weekly carload gain, AAR says

Strong coal and grain demand drove another carload increase for U.S. railroads last week. During the period ending April 26, the roads originated 335,865 carloads, up 0.3 percent compared with the total from the same week in 2007, according to Association of American Railroads data. Grain and coal traffic rose 20.1 percent and 7.6 percent, respectively.

However, weekly intermodal volume totaling 224,365 containers and trailers declined 4.4 percent year over year.

Through 2008's first 17 weeks, U.S. roads originated 5.5 million carloads, up 1 percent, and 3.7 million containers and trailers, down 3.5 percent compared with totals from the same 2007 period. Total estimated volume reached 569.6 billion ton-miles, representing a 2.2 percent increase.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads continued to move more intermodal loads but fewer carloads vs. last year's pace. During the week ending April 26, their carloads totaling 76,896 units dropped 6.2 percent but intermodal volume totaling 48,556 units increased 2.2 percent.

Through 17 weeks, Canadian railroads originated 1.3 million carloads, down 3.2 percent, and 790,343 containers and trailers, up 4.4 percent compared with totals from the same 2007 period.

On a combined cumulative-volume basis through 17 weeks, reporting U.S. and Canadian railroads totaled 6.8 million carloads, up 0.2 percent, and 4.5 million intermodal loads, down 2.2 percent year over year.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/2/2008