Old 12-18-2004, 11:13 PM   #1
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Default Rail freight traffic continues to climb

Rail freight traffic continues to climb

(The AAR issued the following news release on December 16.)

WASHINGTON -- Freight traffic on U.S. railroads was up again during the week ended December 11 in comparison with the corresponding week last year, Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported today.

During the week ended December 11, intermodal volume totaled 235,625 trailers or containers, the third busiest week on record and up 12.3 percent from the comparable week last year. Trailer volume was up 11.5 percent while container traffic grew by 12.7 percent from last year.

Carload freight, which doesn't include the intermodal data, totaled 346,363 cars, up 3.6 percent from a year ago with loadings up 4.5 percent in the East and 3.0 percent in the West. Total volume was estimated at 32.6 billion ton-miles, up 4.2 percent from last year.

Eleven of 19 carload commodities registered gains from last year, with metallic ores up 20.4 percent; lumber and wood products up 11.8 percent; metals up 10.3 percent; and coal, up 6.3 percent. Among commodities reporting declines were farm products other than grain, down 44.3 percent; primary forest products, down 11.7 percent and coke, off 7.4 percent.

The AAR also reported the following cumulative totals for U.S. railroads during the first 49 weeks of 2004: 16,530,449 carloads, up 2.8 percent from last year; and total volume of an estimated 1.523 trillion ton-miles, up 5.0 percent from last year’s first 49 weeks.

On Canadian railroads, during the week ended December 11 carload traffic totaled 70,656 cars, up 5.2 percent from last year while intermodal volume totaled 42,278 trailers or containers, up 0.3 percent from last year.

Cumulative originations for the first 49 weeks of 2004 on the Canadian railroads totaled 3,309,490 carloads, up 6.9 percent from last year, and 2,065,739 trailers and containers, up 0.3 percent from last year.

Combined cumulative volume for the first 49 weeks of 2004 on 15 reporting U.S. and Canadian railroads totaled 19,839,939 carloads, up 3.5 percent from last year and 12,498,277 trailers and containers, up 8.3 percent from last year.

The AAR also reported that originated carload freight on the Mexican railroad Transportacion Ferroviaria Mexicana (TFM) during the week ended December 11 totaled 10,021 cars, up 18.5 percent from last year. TFM reported intermodal volume of 4,514 originated trailers or containers, up 37.5 percent from the 49th week of 2003. For the first 49 weeks of 2004, TFM reported cumulative originated volume of 427,939 cars, up 3.5 percent from last year, and 186,288 trailers or containers, up 8.6 percent.

Railroads reporting to AAR account for 88 percent of U.S. carload freight and 95 percent of rail intermodal volume. When the U.S. operations of Canadian railroads are included, the figures increase to 95 percent and 100 percent. The Canadian railroads reporting to the AAR account for 90 percent of Canadian rail traffic. Railroads provide more than 40 percent of U.S. intercity freight transportation, more than any other mode, and rail traffic figures are regarded as an important economic indicator.

AAR is the world’s leading railroad policy, research and technology organization focusing on the safety and productivity of rail carriers.
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