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Rail News: Intermodal

Storms rain on U.S. railroads' traffic in September's first week, AAR says


The lingering effects of Hurricane Gustav and walloping rains of Tropical Storm Hanna hampered U.S. railroads' traffic in September's first week.

During the week ending Sept. 6, which included Labor Day, they originated 306,340 carloads, down 3.5 percent, and 200,876 intermodal loads, down 3.4 percent compared with totals from the same week last year, according to Association of American Railroads data.

Through 2008's first 36 weeks, U.S. roads boosted carloads 0.2 percent to 11.7 million units, but registered a 2.9 percent decline in intermodal loads to 8 million containers and trailers vs. totals from 2007's first 36 weeks. Total volume rose 1.3 percent to an estimated 1.2 trillion ton-miles.

Canadian railroads continued to post mixed traffic results. During the week ending Sept. 6, they originated 71,730 carloads, down 2.9 percent, and 46,987 containers and trailers, up 4.4 percent year over year. Through 36 weeks, Canadian railroads' carloadings stood at 2.7 million units and intermodal loads stood at 1.7 million units, down 4 percent and up 4.1 percent, respectively, compared with last year's totals.

On a combined cumulative-volume basis through 36 weeks, reporting U.S. and Canadian railroads originated 14.4 million carloads, down 0.6 percent, and 9.8 million containers and trailers, down 1.7 percent vs. totals from 2007's first 36 weeks.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/12/2008