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AAR reports mixed rail traffic for October
Hurricane Sandy impacts seen in week 44 data with traffic down

 The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reports U.S. rail traffic continues to show mixed results in monthly rail data, and that impacts from Hurricane Sandy can be seen in decreased traffic for week 44. “The fundamentals of U.S. rail traffic remained roughly the same in October as in recent months:  weakness in coal, remarkable growth in petroleum and petroleum products, a slight slowing of growth in intermodal and autos, and mixed results for everything else,” said AAR Senior Vice President John T. Gray. Intermodal traffic in October saw an increase for the 35th straight month, totaling 1,233,475 containers and trailers, up 1.5 percent (18,710 units) compared with October of 2011. Carloads originated in October totaled 1,422,654 carloads, down 6.1 percent (92,601 carloads) compared with the same month last year. Carloads excluding coal were up 1.9 percent for the month, or 15,609 carloads, compared with the same month last year. Commodity groups that saw carload gains in October 2012 compared with the same month last year included: petroleum and petroleum products, up 54.5 percent or 20,906 carloads; crushed stone, sand, and gravel, up 11.9 percent or 11,290 carloads, and motor vehicles and parts, up 5.5 percent or 4,238 carloads. Commodities with carload declines in October were led by coal, down 16 percent or 108,210 carloads; iron and steel scrap, down 24.9 percent or 5,889 carloads, and metallic ores, down 13.3 percent or 5,501 carloads. Detailed monthly data charts and tables will be available in the AAR’s Rail Time Indicators report released online later today. AAR today also reported declines in rail traffic for the week ending Nov. 3, 2012, which included impacts from Hurricane Sandy.  Last week U.S. railroads originated 278,230 carloads, down 6.8 percent compared with the same week last year, while intermodal volume for the week totaled 224,467 trailers and containers, down 6.2 percent compared with the same week last year. Ten of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2011, with petroleum products, up 61.5 percent; farm products excluding grain, up 46.4 percent, and lumber and wood products, up 24 percent. The groups showing a decrease in weekly traffic included iron and steel scrap, down 25.8 percent; metallic ores, down 22.9, and nonmetallic minerals, down 22.5 percent. Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was down 12.7 percent compared with the same week last year. In the West, weekly carload volume was down 3 percent compared with the same week in 2011. For the first 44 weeks of 2012, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 12,465,059 carloads, down 3 percent from the same point last year, and 10,444,739 trailers and containers, up 3.5 percent from last year. Canadian railroads reported 77,904 carloads for the week, down 3.1 percent compared with the same week last year, and 50,705 trailers and containers, down 2.3 percent compared with 2011. For the first 44 weeks of 2012, Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 3,399,244 carloads, up 2.2 percent from the same point last year, and 2,276,667 trailers and containers, up 6.9 percent from last year. Mexican railroads reported 14,465 carloads for the week, up 0.7 percent compared with the same week last year, and 10,488 trailers and containers, up 18 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 44 weeks of 2012 is 633,081 carloads, up 0.3 percent from the same point last year, and 440,580 trailers and containers, up 19.9 percent from last year. Combined North American rail volume for the first 44 weeks of 2012 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 16,497,384 carloads, down 1.8 percent compared with the same point last year, and 13,161,986 trailers and containers, up 4.5 percent compared with last year.

 

 
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