The Association of American Railroads (AAR) recently reported monthly carloads in January 2011 increased 8 percent compared with the same month last year, for a total of 1,142,293 carloads.
According to AAR’s monthly Rail Time Indicators report, intermodal traffic in January increased 7.4 percent for a total of 863,099 trailers and containers compared with January 2010. This growth marks the 13th straight month that combined carloads and intermodal traffic have increased year-over-year, showing the continued gradual upward trend in rail traffic.
“Steady growth is good news for railroads and the economy, but there is still more ground to cover before we return to pre-recession levels,” said AAR Senior Vice President John T. Gray. “Rail is vital to connecting business to the marketplace, and the gradual gain in intermodal traffic as well as carloads shows how broad U.S. economic recovery may be.”
Overall, 15 of 20 commodity categories saw carload gains on U.S. railroads in January 2011 compared with January 2010. Traffic gains in January were led by metallic ores up 63 percent; primary metal products, up 21 percent, and crushed stone, sand and gravel up 16.2 percent.