Rail Traffic Just Declined For The First Time In 13 Months

Rail traffic posted its first year over year decline since early 2010 according to the AAR. Traffic was negatively impacted by winter storms.  Carloads were flat on the week while intermodal traffic declined -1.5%.  Breadth of the data deteriorated with just 8 of the 20 commodity groups posting year over year gains (via AAR):

“The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported a mix in weekly rail traffic as a result of winter storms in parts of the country last week. For the week ending Feb. 5, 2011, rail carloads were flat with U.S. railroads originating 267,682 carloads, while intermodal volume was down 1.5 per cent to 198,249 trailers and containers, compared with the same week in 2010. Intermodal container volume declined 2.5 per cent while trailer volume increased 4.1 per cent.Eight of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases from the comparable week in 2010 with metallic ores leading the groups with an increase of 33.5 per cent. Commodity groups reporting notable declines were farm products excluding grain, down 17.9 per cent; grain mill products, down 14.5 per cent; coke, down 14.1 per cent; and waste and nonferrous scrap, down 13.3 per cent.

Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was up 5.8 per cent compared with last year. In the West, weekly carload volume was down 3.6 per cent compared with the same week in 2010.

For the first five weeks of 2011, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 1,409,975 carloads, up 6.4 per cent from last year, and 1,061,348 trailers and containers, up 5.7 per cent from the same point in 2010.”


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