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January 23: AAR reports increase in weekly rail traffic

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported an increase in weekly rail traffic for the week ending January 14, 2012, with U.S. railroads originating 298,560 carloads, up 5.5 percent compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week totaled 229,091 trailers and containers, up 7.4 percent compared with the same week last year.

Seventeen of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2011, with crushed stone, sand and gravel, up 33.2 percent; motor vehicles and equipment, up 31.5 percent, and petroleum products, up 28.9 percent.  The groups showing a significant decrease in weekly traffic included grain, down 10.1 percent.

Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was up 5.3 percent compared with the same week last year. In the West, weekly carload volume was up 5.6 percent compared with the same week in 2011.

For the first two weeks of 2012, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 573,412 carloads, up 0.9 percent from last year, and 422,903 trailers and containers, down 1 percent from last year.

Canadian railroads reported 77,095 carloads for the week, up 9.8 percent compared with the same week last year, and 50,004 trailers and containers, up 15.5 percent compared with 2011. For the first two weeks of 2012, Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 145,500 carloads, up 3.1 percent from the same point last year, and 90,285 trailers and containers, up 2.7 percent from last year.

Mexican railroads reported 11,893 carloads for the week, down 21.3 percent compared with the same week last year, and 8,545 trailers and containers, up 20.5 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first two weeks of 2012 is 22,750 carloads, down 18.5 percent compared to last year, and 15,711 trailers and containers, up 18.6 percent.

Combined North American rail volume for the first two weeks of 2012 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 741,662 carloads, up 0.5 percent compared to last year, and 528,899 trailers and containers, up 0.1 percent compared with last year.

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