AAR: U.S. rail continues to see traffic gains
The Association of American Railroads said Thursday that U.S. freight railroads continued to experience traffic gains for the 11th consecutive week in the week ended May 8.
U.S. railroads originated 288,905 carloads last week, up 14.7 percent from the comparable week in 2009. However, carloads were still down 13.9 percent from the same week in 2008.
Carload volume on eastern railroads was up 16.3 percent from last year, but down 20.1 percent from 2008. In the West, carload volume was up 13.7 percent from last year but down 9.1 percent from two years ago.
Intermodal traffic totaled 208,809 trailers and containers, up 14 percent from last year but down 9.2 percent from 2008.
Eighteen of 19 carload commodity groups were up from last year, led by a 99.7 percent jump in metals and a 70.2 percent gain in metallic ores. Loadings of motor vehicles and equipment were up 50.8 percent, waste and scrap was up 31.6 percent, and lumber and wood products gained 23.4 percent. Chemicals rose 14.6 percent, grain was up 8.6 percent and coal was up 8.3 percent from last year. The only commodity not to increase was grain mill products, down 4.8 percent.