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Rail traffic showed shows annual gains for week ending June 3, says AAR

By Staff
June 10, 2011

After a few weeks of uneven volumes, rail traffic showed positive growth for the week ending June 3, according to data released by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

Carload volume—at 273,584—was up 1.1 percent annually, but behind the week ending May 28 at 288,049 and the weeks ending May 21 and May 14 at 295,148 and 294,271l, respectively.  It was also behind the week ending April 2, which hit 305,905 carloads, marking the highest weekly carload tally since the end of 2008.

Carload volume was up 1.9 percent in the East and up 0.6 percent out West. Carloads on a year-to-date basis are at 6,384,231 for a 3.1 percent annual increase.

Intermodal volume—at 205,565 trailers and containers was up 7.2 percent over last year. This was behind the last two weeks at 234,668 and 234,235, respectively. Intermodal continues to make strides on the domestic side due to fuel price pressure and its ability to provide service comparable to truckload at a more favorable rate, say shippers and analyst.

Of the 20 commodity groups tracked by the AAR, 15 were up annually. Grain was up 17.4 percent, and iron and steel scrap were up 18.7 percent. Primary forest products were down 15.2 percent.

Estimated ton-miles for the week were 30.4 billion for a 2.4 percent annual increase, and on a year-to-date basis, the 714.6 billion ton-miles recorded were up 4.2 percent.

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