Major U.S. railroads originate 281,989 carloads week ended Feb. 18, down 5.2% year-over-year; intermodal volume totaled 221,003 trailers and containers, down 5.6%: AAR

WASHINGTON , February 23, 2012 (press release) – The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported a decline in weekly rail traffic for the week ending February 18, 2012, with U.S. railroads originating 281,989 carloads, down 5.2 percent compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week totaled 221,003 trailers and containers, down 5.6 percent compared with the same week last year.

Twelve of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2011, with petroleum products, up 25.9 percent; lumber and wood products, up 22.9, and motor vehicles and equipment, up 11.7 percent. The groups showing a significant decrease in weekly traffic included coal, down 13.9 percent, and farm products excluding grain, down 13.4 percent.

Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was down 7.3 percent compared with the same week last year. In the West, weekly carload volume was down 3.7 percent compared with the same week in 2011.

For the first seven weeks of 2012, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 1,990,836 carloads, up 0.3 percent from last year, and 1,558,437 trailers and containers, up 2.2 percent from last year.

Canadian railroads reported 78,411 carloads for the week, up 6.6 percent compared with the same week last year, and 51,060 trailers and containers, up 9.4 percent compared with 2011. For the first seven weeks of 2012, Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 522,664 carloads, up 6.7 percent from the same point last year, and 340,689 trailers and containers, up 6.9 percent from last year.

Mexican railroads reported 14,203 carloads for the week, down 2 percent compared with the same week last year, and 10,301 trailers and containers, up 18.4 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first seven weeks of 2012 is 91,004 carloads, down 8.6 percent compared to last year, and 62,724 trailers and containers, up 22.2 percent.

Combined North American rail volume for the first seven weeks of 2012 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 2,604,504 carloads, up 1.2 percent compared to last year, and 1,961,850 trailers and containers, up 3.6 percent compared with last year.

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