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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 May 5, 2012, with U.S. railroads originating 276,136 carloads, down 2 percent compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week totaled 239,031 trailers and containers, up 3 percent compared with the same week last year.

Fourteen of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2011, with petroleum products, up 47 percent; motor vehicles and equipment, up 31.2 percent, and lumber and wood products, up 23.1. The groups showing a decrease in weekly traffic included grain, down 22.7 percent; farm products excluding grain, down 11.9 percent, and coal, down 10.1 percent.

Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was down 1.7 percent compared with the same week last year. In the West, weekly carload volume was down 2.3 percent compared with the same week in 2011.

For the first 18 weeks of 2012, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 5,068,331 carloads, down 3.2 percent from the same point last year, and 4,114,427 trailers and containers, up 2.8 percent from last year.

Canadian railroads reported 81,102 carloads for the week, up 4.1 percent compared with the same week last year, and 54,659 trailers and containers, up 9.4 percent compared with 2011. For the first 18 weeks of 2012, Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 1,386,842 carloads, up 4.8 percent from the same point last year, and 898,862 trailers and containers, up 7.9 percent from last year.

Mexican railroads reported 13,943 carloads for the week, up 0.1 percent compared with the same week last year, and 8,522 trailers and containers, up 9.7 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 18 weeks of 2012 is 244,534 carloads, down 4.7 percent compared with the same point last year, and 159,437 trailers and containers, up 22.5 percent from last year.

Combined North American rail volume for the first 18 weeks of 2012 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 6,699,707 carloads, down 1.7 percent compared with the same point last year, and 5,172,726 trailers and containers, up 4.2 percent compared with last year.
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