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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR's July traffic report: North American roads slog through another sluggish month


Log July in as the seventh month this year with double-digit rail traffic declines. Last month, U.S. railroads originated 1.3 million carloads, down 17.5 percent, and 922,734 intermodal loads, down 18 percent compared with July 2008 figures, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR). All 19 major commodity categories tracked by the AAR registered drops.

“July was an interesting month. If you see the glass as half full, 14 carload commodity categories were ‘less worse off’ than they were in the first half of the year,” said AAR Senior Vice President John Gray in a prepared statement. “But then you remember 15 commodity groups still saw double-digit declines relative to last year.”

Canadian railroads’ July traffic totals stood at 297,914 carloads, down 22 percent, and 200,294 intermodal loads, down 19.2 percent year over year. For Mexican railroads, carloads tumbled 23.1 percent and intermodal volume fell 25.4 percent last month.

For more AAR data on North American railroads’ traffic in July — as well as through the year’s first seven months and during week No. 30 ending Aug. 1 — follow this link.