Rail traffic remains down year over year
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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Association of American Railroads today reported that for the week ending Oct. 10, 2009, rail traffic remains down – originating 273,429 carloads, down 17.2 percent compared with the same week in 2008. Regionally, carloads were down 15.4 percent in the West and 19.7 percent in the East.

Intermodal traffic, while down 11 percent from the same week last year, showed slight signs of improvement this week. U.S. railroads reported originating 208,941 trailers or containers for 2009 – the highest weekly intermodal volume for 2009. In the year over year comparison, however, container volume fell 4.6 percent and trailer volume dropped 34.9 percent.

Seventeen of the 19 carload freight commodity groups were down from the same week last year. However, nonmetallic minerals were up 6 percent and grain mill products were up 1.4 percent. Declines in commodity groups ranged from 3.1 percent for grain to 70.4 percent for metallic ores.

For the first 40 weeks of 2009, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 10,655,334 carloads, down 18.1 percent from 2008; 7,556,240 trailers or containers, down 16.6 percent, and total volume of an estimated 1.14 trillion ton-miles, down 17.2 percent. Total volume on U.S. railroads for the week ending October 10 was estimated at 30.8 billion ton-miles, off 16.1 percent from the same week last year.

Canadian railroads reported volume of 67,651 cars for the week, down 13.6 percent from last year, and 45,392 trailers or containers, down 9.5 percent. For the first 40 weeks of 2009, Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 2,445,447 carloads, down 22 percent from last year, and 1,634,206 trailers or containers, down 16.1 percent.

Mexican railroads reported originated volume of 11,683 cars, down 4.8 percent from the same week last year, and 7,043 trailers or containers, down 10.8 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 40 weeks of 2009 was reported as 456,316 carloads, down 13.4 percent from last year; and 210,569 trailers or containers, down 18 percent.

Combined North American rail volume for the first 40 weeks of 2009 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 13,557,097 carloads, down 18.7 percent from last year, and 9,401,015 trailers and containers, down 16.6 percent from last year.

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