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AAR: Coal and grain help trigger U.S. roads' carload gain in July


Traffic gains in coal, grain and metal products helped U.S. railroads increase originated carloads 2 percent to 1.3 million units last month compared with July 2005, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR). Carloads of metal products rose 16.9 percent; grain, 7.6 percent; and coal, 4.5 percent.

“Coal carloadings are up 4.2 percent from January through July,” said AAR Vice President Craig Rockey in a prepared statement. “Given the weather that most of the country is currently suffering through, we are looking for coal movements to continue their torrid pace.”

July intermodal volume totaled 938,160 trailers and containers, up 6.7 percent compared with July 2005.

During 2006’s first seven months, U.S. railroads originated 10.1 million carloads, up 1.5 percent, and 7 million trailers and containers, up 6.5 percent compared with the same 2005 period. Total estimated volume of 996.9 billion ton-miles rose 2.8 percent.

Canadian railroads also increased originated carloads in July — 0.3 percent to 285,197 units — but through seven months, the roads’ carloads decreased 1.6 percent to 2.2 million units compared with the same 2005 period.

However, Canadian railroads’ intermodal traffic increased 6.1 percent to 181,641 units in July and 6.1 percent to 1.3 million units compared with similar 2005 periods.

On a combined cumulative-volume basis through seven months, 13 reporting U.S. and Canadian roads originated 12.3 million carloads, up 1 percent, and 8.3 million containers and trailers, up 6.4 percent compared with 2005’s first seven months.

In Mexico last month, Kansas City Southern de México S.A. de C.V.’s total carloads carried decreased 6.1 percent to 40,755 units and intermodal units carried declined 7.8 percent to 13,854 compared with July 2005. Through seven months, total carloads carried declined 5.4 percent and intermodal units carried dropped 6.8 percent.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/4/2006