U.S. weekly rail traffic slips, with originated carloads in period ended Aug. 27 down 0.8% week-on-week to 299,943, intermodal volume down 0.5% to 236,051 trailers and containers: AAR

WASHINGTON , September 1, 2011 (press release) – The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported a slight dip in weekly rail traffic, with U.S. railroads originating 299,943 carloads for the week ending August 27, 2011, down 0.8 percent compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week totaled 236,051 trailers and containers, down 0.5 percent compared with the same week last year.

Eleven of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases from the comparable week in 2010, including: metallic ores, up 26.1 percent; iron and steel scrap, up 20.2 percent; and motor vehicles and equipment, up 13.2 percent. Groups showing a decrease in weekly traffic included: waste and nonferrous scrap, down 21.1 percent; farm products excluding grain, down 20.5 percent; and grain, down 17 percent.

Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was down 1.2 percent compared with the same week last year. In the West, weekly carload volume was down 0.6 percent compared with the same week in 2010.

For the first 34 weeks of 2011, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 9,830,960 carloads, up 1.9 percent from the same point last year, and 7,697,679 trailers and containers, up 6.1 percent from last year.

Canadian railroads reported 76,863 carloads for the week, up 1 percent compared with the same week last year, and 51,698 trailers and containers, down 4.1 percent compared with 2010. For the first 34 weeks of 2011, Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 2,526,448 carloads, up 2.6 percent from the same point last year, and 1,616,146 trailers and containers, up 1.8 percent from last year.

Mexican railroads reported 15,047 carloads for the week, up 3.9 percent compared with the same week last year, and 8,395 trailers and containers, up 2.8 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 34 weeks of 2011 was 488,190 carloads, up 4.9 percent compared with the same point last year, and 275,611 trailers and containers, up 24.6 percent.

Combined North American rail volume for the first 34 weeks of 2011 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 12,845,598 carloads, up 2.2 percent compared with the same point last year, and 9,589,436 trailers and containers, up 5.8 percent compared with last year.

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