Rail may indeed have a bright future, but for now, the business is still pretty ugly, and taking its time coming out of the recession.
(via Pragcap) WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 5, 2009 — The Association of American Railroads today said that freight rail traffic remains down for the week ended Oct. 31, 2009. U.S. railroads reported originating 275,439 carloads for the week, down 13.7 per cent compared with the same week in 2008 and down 18.2 per cent from 2007. In order to offer a complete picture of the progress in rail traffic, AAR will be reporting 2009 weekly rail traffic with year over comparisons for both 2008 and 2007 going forward.
In the West, carloads were down 14.3 per cent compared with the same week last year, and 19.1 per cent compared with 2007. In the East, carloads were down 12.9 per cent compared with 2008, and 8.7 per cent compared with the same week in 2007.
Intermodal traffic totaled 203,860 trailers and containers, down 15.5 per cent from a year ago and 14.5 per cent from 2007. Compared with the same week in 2008, container volume fell 5.4 per cent and trailer volume dropped 32.3 per cent. Compared with the same week in 2007, container volume fell 8.9 per cent and trailer volume dropped 38.6 per cent.
While 15 of the 19 carload freight commodity groups were down compared with the same week last year, increases were seen in grain mill products (9.9 per cent), chemicals (3.6 per cent), and waste and scrap metal (.7 per cent and nonmetallic minerals (.3 per cent). Declines in commodity groups ranged from 2.2 per cent for the all other carloads category to 55.6 per cent for metallic ores.
Total volume on U.S. railroads for the week ending Oct. 31, 2009 was estimated at 31 billion ton-miles, down 12.7 per cent compared with the same week last year and 13.2 per cent from 2007.
For the first 43 weeks of 2009, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 11,482,619 carloads, down 17.9 per cent from 2008 and 18.3 per cent from 2007; 8,173,640 trailers or containers, down 16.2 per cent from 2008 and 18.6 per cent from 2007, and total volume of an estimated 1.23 trillion ton-miles, down 17 per cent from 2008 and 17.1 per cent from 2007.