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AAR reports mixed weekly rail traffic

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported mixed weekly rail traffic for the week ending March 24, 2012, with U.S. railroads originating 278,393 carloads, down 7.2 percent compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week totaled 232,401 trailers and containers, up 4.2 percent compared with the same week last year.

Twelve of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2011, with petroleum products, up 26.8 percent; coke, up 15.1 percent, and motor vehicles and equipment, up 13.8 percent. The groups showing a significant decrease in weekly traffic included coal, down 17.4 percent, and grain, down 14.2 percent.

Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was down 4.3 percent compared with the same week last year. In the West, weekly carload volume was down 9.1 percent compared with the same week in 2011.

For the first twelve weeks of 2012, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 3,392,128 carloads, down 2.2 percent from last year, and 2,685,673 trailers and containers, up 2.4 percent from last year.

Canadian railroads reported 77,841 carloads for the week, up 0.4 percent compared with the same week last year, and 51,772 trailers and containers, up 10.7 percent compared with 2011. For the first twelve weeks of 2012, Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 906,628 carloads, up 5.8 percent from the same point last year, and 580,224 trailers and containers, up 6.5 percent from last year.

Mexican railroads reported 14,145 carloads for the week, up 1.7 percent compared with the same week last year, and 8,708 trailers and containers, up 32 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first twelve weeks of 2012 is 161,456 carloads, down 6 percent compared with last year, and 105,714 trailers and containers, up 22.3 percent.

Combined North American rail volume for the first twelve weeks of 2012 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 4,460,212 carloads, down 0.8 percent compared with last year, and 3,371,611 trailers and containers, up 3.6 percent compared with last year.
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