2006: Another Record Year

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WASHINGTON — For the ninth consecutive year, total freight volume on U.S. railroads as measured in ton-miles has set an annual record, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported.

Meanwhile, for the fifth consecutive year — and the 18th time in the past 20 years — intermodal freight on U.S. railroads has set an annual record, according to the AAR.

Total freight volume for the first 51 weeks of 2006 reached 1.712 trillion ton-miles during the week ended December 23, breaking the 52-week record of 1.696 trillion set during 2005. This year’s total was 2.6 percent above the total for the first 51 weeks of 2005.

For just the week ended December 23, total volume was estimated at 34.8 billion ton-miles, up 8.1 percent from last year.
Both carload and intermodal volume were also up from last year during the week ended December 23. Carload volume of 338,013 cars was up 6.6 percent from a year ago, with loadings up 8.6 percent in the West and 4.2 percent in the East.

Intermodal volume of 233,890 trailers or containers was up 5.5 percent from last year. Container volume was up 10.1 percent, while trailer volume was down 7.5 percent.

Twelve out of 19 carload commodity groups were up from last year, with loadings of coke up 19.0 percent, grain up 17.0 percent and coal up 8.6 percent. On the downside, lumber and wood products were down 18.7 percent and pulp, paper and allied products were off 6.4 percent.

For the first 51 weeks of 2006, carload freight totaled 17,111,268 units, up 1.4 percent from last year, while intermodal volume totaled 12,109,230 trailers or containers, up 5.2 percent.

On Canadian railroads, during the week ended December 23 carload traffic totaled 73,098 cars, down 0.8 percent from last year while intermodal volume of 45,454 trailers or containers was up 6.7 percent from last year.

Cumulative originations for the first 51 weeks of 2006 on the Canadian railroads totaled 3,790,431 carloads, down 1.8 percent from last year, and 2,326,260 trailers and containers, up 5.1 percent from 2005.

Combined cumulative volume for the first 51 weeks of 2006 on 13 reporting U.S. and Canadian railroads totaled 20,901,699 carloads, up 0.8 percent from last year and 14,435,490 trailers and containers, up 5.2 percent from last year.

Cumulative originations for the first 51 weeks of 2006 on the Canadian railroads totaled 3,790,431 carloads, down 1.8 percent from last year, and 2,326,260 trailers and containers, up 5.1 percent from 2005.

Combined cumulative volume for the first 51 weeks of 2006 on 13 reporting U.S. and Canadian railroads totaled 20,901,699 carloads, up 0.8 percent from last year and 14,435,490 trailers and containers, up 5.2 percent from last year.

— Special to The Cross-Tie