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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR weekly report: North American railroads register more traffic gains


Week No. 23 was another good one for U.S. railroads. During the period ending June 12, they originated 288,973 carloads, up 10.5 percent, and 223,075 intermodal loads, up 17.7 percent compared with volumes from the same week last year, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

Sixteen of 19 carload commodity groups posted gains, led by an 88.9 percent jump in metals traffic. Coal traffic was up 3 percent.

“Notably, NS and CSX have both seen recent improvement in utility coal volumes,” said Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc. analysts in their latest “Rail Flash” report. “A strong summer coal burn and increasing industrial electrical demand could suggest an improved second-half utility coal outlook. Additionally, natural gas futures have rebounded significantly, reducing potential natural gas switching by utilities.”

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported week No. 23 volume of 73,703 carloads, up 28 percent, and 51,334 containers and trailers, up 31.5 percent year over year. Mexican railroads’ weekly carloads shot up 22.9 percent to 15,108 units and intermodal volume ballooned 39.5 percent to 6,655 units.

Through 2010’s first 23 weeks, 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads originated 8.4 million carloads, up 10.2 percent, and 5.9 million containers and trailers, up 12 percent year over year.

For more AAR traffic data for the week ending June 12 and through 23 weeks, follow this link.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/18/2010