U.S. rail traffic for the week ending April 21 down 3.6% year-over-year to 282,262 carloads, intermodal volume up 6% to 239,276 trailers and containers: AAR

WASHINGTON , April 26, 2012 (press release) – The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported mixed weekly rail traffic for the week ending April 21, 2012, with U.S. railroads originating 282,262 carloads, down 3.6 percent compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week totaled 239,276 trailers and containers, up 6 percent compared with the same week last year.

Fourteen of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2011, with petroleum products, up 48.3 percent; motor vehicles and equipment, up 32.9 percent, and primary forest products, up 22.8 percent. The groups showing a significant decrease in weekly traffic included farm products excluding grain, down 19 percent; grain, down 18 percent, and coal, down 16 percent.

Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was up 2 percent compared with the same week last year. In the West, weekly carload volume was down 7.3 percent compared with the same week in 2011.

For the first 16 weeks of 2012, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 4,509,115 carloads, down 3.2 percent from the same point last year, and 3,633,031 trailers and containers, up 2.6 percent from last year.

Canadian railroads reported 82,300 carloads for the week, up 9.1 percent compared with the same week last year, and 54,500 trailers and containers, up 18.4 percent compared with 2011. For the first 16 weeks of 2012, Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 1,224,622 carloads, up 5.1 percent from the same point last year, and 790,726 trailers and containers, up 7.7 percent from last year.

Mexican railroads reported 14,892 carloads for the week, up 27.3 percent compared with the same week last year, and 9,430 trailers and containers, up 43.2 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 16 weeks of 2012 is 215,631 carloads, down 5.3 percent compared with the same point last year, and 140,784 trailers and containers, up 22.7 percent from last year.

Combined North American rail volume for the first 16 weeks of 2012 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 5,949,368 carloads, down 1.7 percent compared with the same point last year, and 4,564,541 trailers and containers, up 4 percent compared with last year.

About AAR: The Association of American Railroads (AAR) is the world's leading railroad policy, research and technology organization focusing on the safety and productivity of rail carriers. AAR members include the major freight railroads of the U.S., Canada and Mexico, as well as Amtrak. Learn more at www.aar.org. Follow us on Twitter: AAR_FreightRail or Facebook: www.facebook.com/freightrail.

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