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AAR reports continued gains in weekly carload, intermodal traffic

The Association of American Railroads reported rail traffic gains for the week ending March 26, 2011, with U.S. railroads originating 299,903 carloads, up 1.9 percent compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week was also up 5.7 percent compared with the same week last year, totaling 223,034 trailers and containers.

Eleven of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases from the comparable week in 2010. Those groups posting significant increases included: pulp, paper and allied products, up 19.4 percent; motor vehicles and equipment, up 12.7 percent; chemicals, up 12.1 percent, and petroleum products, up 12.1 percent. The commodity groups reporting a notable drop in weekly traffic were primary forest products, down 20.6 percent; coke, down 15.4 percent, and waste and nonferrous scrap, down 11.1 percent.

For the first 12 weeks of 2011, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 3,468,044 carloads, up 5 percent from last year, and 2,621,919 trailers and containers, up 7.9 percent from the same point in 2010.

Combined North American rail volume for the first 12 weeks of 2011 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 4,496,182 carloads, up 3.9 percent compared with the same point last year, and 3,248,771 trailers and containers, up 7 percent compared with last year.