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A first: U.S. roads' intermodal traffic tops 10 million units, AAR says

In a year when U.S. railroads regularly have set weekly intermodal volume records, here's a first: the roads have surpassed 10 million intermodal loads, according to the Association of American Railroads. During the week ending Dec. 4, the roads moved 232,798 trailers and containers, increasing their year-to-date, 48-week total to 10,196,913 loads — a 10 percent increase compared with 2003's first 48 weeks, when the roads set a then-record 9,943,362 loads.

Through 48 weeks, U.S. roads also moved 16,184,086 carloads, up 2.9 percent compared with the same 2003 period. Total estimated volume of 1.5 trillion ton-miles represented a 5 percent increase.

But for Canadian railroads, intermodal traffic hasn't exactly been booming. Through 48 weeks, Canadian roads moved 2,023,461 trailers and containers, up 0.3 percent compared with a similar 2003 period. However, carloads have been a success story: The roads' 48-week total of 3,238,834 units increased 6.9 percent compared with last year.

On a combined cumulative-volume basis through 48 weeks, 15 reporting U.S. and Canadian roads moved 19,422,920 carloads, up 3.5 percent, and 12,220,374 trailers and containers, up 8.2 percent compared with the same 2003 period.

In Mexico, TFM S.A. de C.V. is ending 2004 on a high note. After struggling to increase traffic during the first quarter, the railroad has been moving more carloads and intermodal loads the past six months. Through 48 weeks, TFM moved 417,918 carloads, up 3.2 percent, and 181,774 trailers and containers, up 8 percent compared with the same 2003 period.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/10/2004