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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR report: U.S. railroads' weekly carloads reach a 16-month high


During the week ending March 27, U.S. railroads originated 293,114 carloads — the highest weekly total since November 2008, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR). Volume rose 16.5 percent compared with carloads from the same week last year.

U.S. roads’ weekly intermodal loads totaled 210,914 containers and trailers, up 12 percent year over year. Total weekly volume jumped 17.4 percent to an estimated 31.7 billion ton-miles.

Coal traffic increased 15.2 percent vs. the same week last year. Easier year-over-year comparisons are driving the percentage growth — first-quarter average volumes rose 4 percent — and comparisons will continue to ease into the second half, according to Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc.’s weekly “Rail Flash” report.

“Positives include improving industrial production outlook and emerging export coal trends,” Baird analysts said in the report.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported weekly volume of 75,378 carloads, up 24.3 percent, and intermodal volume of 45,647 units, up 10.3 percent. During the week ending March 27, Mexican railroads originated 14,617 carloads, up 26.7 percent, and 6,608 containers and trailers, up 34.3 percent.

For more AAR data on traffic during the week ending March 27 and through 2010’s first 12 weeks, follow this link.