Major U.S. railroads originate 281,644 carloads in week ended Feb. 25, down 5% year-over-year; intermodal volume totaled 214,402 trailers, containers, down 2.8%: AAR

WASHINGTON , March 1, 2012 (press release) – The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported a decline in weekly rail traffic for the week ending February 25, 2012, with U.S. railroads originating 281,644 carloads, down 5 percent compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week totaled 214,402 trailers and containers, down 2.8 percent compared with the same week last year.

Nine of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2011, with motor vehicles and equipment, up 30.9 percent; petroleum products, up 25.6 percent, and metals and products, up 19.4 percent. The groups showing a significant decrease in weekly traffic included coal, down 13.1 percent; grain, down 11.9 percent, and nonmetallic minerals, down 10.8 percent.

Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was down 8 percent compared with the same week last year. In the West, weekly carload volume was down 2.9 percent compared with the same week in 2011.

For the first eight weeks of 2012, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 2,272,480 carloads, down 0.3 percent from last year, and 1,772,839 trailers and containers, up 1.6 percent from last year.

Canadian railroads reported 76,894 carloads for the week, up 7.4 percent compared with the same week last year, and 45,665 trailers and containers, down 2.6 percent compared with 2011. For the first eight weeks of 2012, Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 599,558 carloads, up 6.8 percent from the same point last year, and 386,354 trailers and containers, up 5.7 percent from last year.

Mexican railroads reported 13,790 carloads for the week, down 8.1 percent compared with the same week last year, and 9,135 trailers and containers, up 17.8 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first eight weeks of 2012 is 104,794 carloads, down 8.5 percent compared to last year, and 71,859 trailers and containers, up 21.6 percent.

Combined North American rail volume for the first eight weeks of 2012 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 2,976,832 carloads, up 0.7 percent compared to last year, and 2,231,052 trailers and containers, up 2.8 percent compared with last year.

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