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The Association of American Railroads (AAR) released the latest weekly rail freight traffic report onThursday:

WASHINGTON , D.C. – Sept. 9, 2010 – The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported weekly rail carload volume set a new 2010 record for the second consecutive week. U.S. railroads originated 305,000 carloads during the week ending Sept. 4, 2010, up 6.9 percent compared with the same week in 2009, and at comparable levels to the same week in 2008. The 2008 comparison week included the Labor Day holiday while the corresponding weeks in both 2010 and 2009 did not. In order to offer a complete picture of the progress in rail traffic, AAR reports 2010 weekly rail traffic with comparison weeks in both 2009 and 2008.

The following charts show intermodal and carloads rail freight volumes since 2007. Note that the timing of Labor day differs from year to year. Next week's data will include Labor day and will drop back from current levels. Note also that we are approaching the point where 2008 data began to decline quite rapidly. Pre-recession comparisons should be made, by definition, with 2007 data -- the black line in the charts below.

Click charts below to enlarge


52-Week Moving Averages: Containers, Trailers and Carloads


Intermodal Categories

The intermodal data is divided by the AAR into 2 categories: Trailers and Containers. Below are the charts for these two categories. The same color coding used in the first two charts above applies: black -- 2007; orange -- 2008; green -- 2009; blue -- 2010.

Carload Categories

The carload data is divided by the AAR into 18 specific categories (plus a 19th called "other"). Below are the charts for each of the 18 individual categories. The same color coding used in the first two charts above applies: black -- 2007; orange -- 2008; green -- 2009; blue -- 2010.

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Source: Rail Frieght Volumes Consolidating