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U.S. roads moved more carloads and intermodal units in March, AAR says


Maybe the month didn’t go out as a lion, but March hardly ended as a lamb for U.S. railroads. Last month, the roads originated 1.7 million carloads, up 0.1 percent compared with March 2005, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR). U.S. railroads also moved 1.1 million trailers and containers, a 7.8 percent increase compared with March 2005.

“The rail traffic gains in March reflect continued growth in freight transportation demand,” said AAR Vice President Craig Rockey in a prepared statement. “Railroads are expanding their capacity, and additional investments will be needed to handle additional traffic growth expected in the next few years.”

During the first quarter, U.S. railroads originated 4.3 million carloads, up 0.7 percent, and 2.9 million trailers and containers, up 5.6 percent compared with first-quarter 2005. Total estimated volume of 429.5 billion ton-miles rose 1.9 percent.

Canadian railroads had mixed traffic results in March. Originated carloads totaling 378,367 units dropped 2.9 percent but intermodal loads totaling 222,808 units increased 4.7 percent compared with March 2005. During the first quarter, Canadian roads originated 961,664 carloads, down 2.1 percent, and 561,679 trailers and containers, up 4.4 percent compared with the same 2005 period.

On a combined cumulative-volume basis through 2006’s first 13 weeks, 13 reporting U.S. and Canadian railroads originated 5.3 million carloads, up 0.2 percent, and 3.5 million trailers and containers, up 5.4 percent compared with 2005’s first 13 weeks.

In Mexico, Kansas City Southern de México S.A. de C.V. (KCSM) carried 59,431 carloads and 20,137 intermodal units in March, a 0.4 percent and 15.4 percent increase, respectively, compared with March 2005. During the first quarter, KCSM’s carloads carried dropped 3.8 percent and intermodal units carried fell 1 percent compared with the same 2005 period.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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