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Rail News: Intermodal

Ike's aftereffects include reduced traffic volume on U.S. roads, AAR says

Hurricane Ike has had a lingering negative impact on U.S. railroads' traffic. During the week ending Sept. 20 — one week after the storm struck Texas and Louisiana — the roads originated 312,662 carloads, down 7.8 percent, and 234,286 intermodal loads, down 6.2 percent compared with totals from the same week last year, according to Association of American Railroads data.

During 2008's first 38 weeks, their carloads totaled 12.3 million units, down 0.1 percent, and containers and trailers totaled 8.5 million units, down 3.1 percent vs. figures from the same 2007 period. Total volume reached an estimated 1.28 trillion ton-miles, up 1 percent.

Canadian railroads also fared poorly with carload volume during the week ending Sept. 20. Their carloads totaling 71,794 units plummeted 13.9 percent compared with last year. However, their intermodal volume totaling 51,805 units rose 2.1 percent.

Through 38 weeks, Canadian railroads originated 2.8 million carloads, down 4.3 percent, and 1.8 million containers and trailers, up 4.1 percent compared with figures from the same 2007 period.

On a combined cumulative-volume basis through 38 weeks, reporting U.S. and Canadian railroads registered 15.1 million carloads, down 0.9 percent, and 10.3 million containers and trailers, down 1.9 percent vs. last year.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/26/2008