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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

North American railroads' weekly carloads reach eight-month high


Perhaps rail traffic finally is turning the corner. During the week ending Aug. 29, North American railroads registered their highest traffic levels since the week ending Dec. 13, 2008, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR). Nonetheless, traffic totals still substantially trailed last year’s pace.

For the week, U.S. railroads reported 285,580 carloads, down 16.2 percent, and 202,553 intermodal loads, down 15.6 percent compared with volumes from the same week last year.

Canadian railroads’ weekly carloads tumbled 17.9 percent to 65,256 units and intermodal volume fell 17.2 percent to 43,274 units. During the week ending Aug. 29, Mexican railroads’ carloads declined 18.2 percent to 12,286 units and intermodal volume dropped 11 percent to 6,446 units.

The AAR also announced that, beginning Sept. 3, the association no longer will issue a press release summarizing monthly traffic data. Instead, that data will be provided as part of the Rail Time Indicators Report and monthly rail traffic video.

For more AAR data on North American railroads' traffic for the week ending Aug. 29 and through 2009's first 34 weeks, follow this link.