edit OF2: Removed leftover tags and other tidy-ing up stuff
AAR Reports Gains for November Rail Traffic - Carloads up 2.3% and Intermodal up 3.8%
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Dec. 8, 2011 – The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported gains in November 2011 rail traffic compared with the same month last year, with U.S. railroads originating 1,476,635 carloads, up 2.3 percent, and 1,162,249 trailers and containers, up 3.8 percent. November 2011 saw the largest year-over-year percentage increase in carload traffic since March 2011. Detailed monthly data charts and tables will be made available in the AAR’s Rail Time Indicators report to be released tomorrow.
In November 2011, 13 of the 20 carload commodity categories tracked by AAR saw increases on U.S. railroads compared with November 2010. The largest gains were: motor vehicles and parts, up 11,069 carloads or 18.7 percent; crushed stone, gravel and sand, up 9,740 carloads or 12 percent; and coal, up 8,455 carloads or 1.3 percent. On a percentage basis, the biggest increase in November was in carloads of petroleum and petroleum products, up 6,058 carloads or 18.8 percent. Commodity groups seeing a decline in November included grain, down 15,037 carloads or 12.4 percent; chemicals, down 1,599 carloads or 1.1 percent; and food products, down 1,498 carloads or 4.5 percent.
“In November, U.S. rail carload traffic saw its highest year-over-year percentage increase in eight months, and year-over-year intermodal traffic grew for the 24th straight month,” said AAR Senior Vice President John Gray. “There are still clearly a lot of things that aren’t right with the economy, but we hope this improvement in rail traffic is a sign that the pace of economic growth is increasing.”
Total Class I rail employment in October 2011 was up 3.9 percent, or 5,966 employees, compared with October 2010. As of December 1, 2011, 263,912 freight cars were in storage, a 17 percent decrease since December 1, 2010 equal to 17.3 percent of the North American fleet. Cars in storage rose by 2,217 from November 1, 2011 to December 1, 2011.