Weekly rail volume drops slightly from 2006

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Freight traffic on U.S. railroads was down slightly from the comparable week last year during the week ended June 16, the Association of American Railroads said. Intermodal volume totaled 240,002 trailers or containers, down 2.3 percent from last year. But container volume actually rose a slight 0.3 percent while trailer volume fell down 11.1 percent.

Carload freight totaled 339,670 cars for the week, down 1.8 percent from last year. Loadings were down 1.3 percent in the West and 2.4 percent in the East. Total volume was estimated at 34.5 billion ton-miles, down 1.1 percent from last year.

Although down from last year, the carload volume reached its highest weekly level thus far this year, while intermodal volume was at its second highest level this year.

Eight of 19 carload commodity groups registered gains from last year, with nonmetallic minerals up 9.0 percent and petroleum products up 6.6 percent. Loadings of lumber and wood products were off 18.0 percent while metals were down 14.5 percent.

For the first 24 weeks of 2007, volume totaled 7,757,778 carloads, down 4.3 percent from 2006, and 5,469,789 trailers or containers, off 1.3 percent. The estimated 789.4 billion ton-miles for all U.S. rail freight was down 3.0 percent from last year.

For detailed information on rail traffic for the week ended June 16, click here.