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RAIL TRAFFIC STILL NO RECESSION HERE
Pragmatic Capitalism ^ | 1-5-2011 | Cullen Roche

Posted on 01/06/2012 4:01:26 AM PST by blam

RAIL TRAFFIC – STILL NO RECESSION HERE

5 January 2012
by Cullen Roche

Rail traffic has remained a superb indicator over the course of the last 6 months and it’s been at least partially influential in my thinking that we were not headed for imminent recession (a call made 2 quarters ago). The latest data from the AAR continues to confirm this outlook. Year-end readings are always a bit bumpy due to the seasonal oddities that occur around the holidays and the new year, but the data is still telling a positive story. Via the AAR:

“The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported gains in 2011 rail traffic compared with last year, with U.S. railroads originating 15.2 million carloads, up 2.2 percent over 2010 and up 9.7 percent over 2009. Total U.S. rail intermodal volume in 2011 was 11.9 million trailers and containers, up 5.4 percent over 2010 and up 20.4 percent over 2009.

In 2011, 14 of the 20 carload commodity categories tracked by AAR saw increases on U.S. railroads compared with 2010 indicating a broad recovery across industry sectors. The largest gains were: metallic ores, up 20.5 percent or 67,631 carloads; primary metal products, up 12 percent or 56,988 carloads; and petroleum products, up 11.1 percent or 36,811 carloads. The commodity with the biggest carload decline in 2011 from 2010 was grain, down 27,946 carloads or 2.4 percent.

“A good beginning, some uncertainness in the middle, and then a good ending—that describes U.S. rail traffic in 2011,” remarked John Gray, AAR’s Senior Vice President for Policy and Economics. “We continue to see hopeful economic signs, as the industry prepares for 2012.”

AAR also announced gains in December 2011 rail traffic, with U.S. railroads originating 1,134,580 carloads, up 7.3 percent over December 2010, which is the largest year-over-year monthly increase since January 2011. U.S. rail intermodal originations totaled 873,390 containers and trailers, up 9.4 percent over December 2010. This is the second-highest monthly intermodal average for any December in history.

During December 2011, 16 of the 20 carload commodity categories tracked by the AAR saw increases compared with December 2010.

AAR reported gains in weekly rail traffic for the week ending December 31, 2011, with U.S. railroads originating 245,666 carloads, up 1.9 percent compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week totaled 181,217 trailers and containers, up 8.6 percent compared with the same week last year.

Ten of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2010, including: crushed stone, sand and gravel, up 35.2 percent; waste and nonferrous scrap, up 23.8 percent, and metals and products, up 15.7 percent. The groups showing a decrease in weekly traffic included: farm products, excluding grain, down 7.6 percent; primary forest products, down 6.5 percent, and food and kindred products, down 6.1 percent.

Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was down 5.3 percent compared with the same week last year. In the West, weekly carload volume was up 6.1 percent compared with the same week in 2010.

For the 52 weeks of 2011, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 15,155,992 carloads, up 2.2 percent from last year, and 11,892,431 trailers and containers, up 5.4 percent from last year.”



TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: economy; railroads; recession; recovery

1 posted on 01/06/2012 4:01:30 AM PST by blam
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To: blam

The busiest stores I’ve ever seen were being looted.


2 posted on 01/06/2012 4:29:55 AM PST by Born to Conserve
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To: blam

We are in a depression and these arseholes keep saying we are doing better and they are also back to pushing globull warming on abc this morning. Lies lies lies lies lies lies lies lies lies lies and damned lies!

LLS


3 posted on 01/06/2012 4:33:06 AM PST by LibLieSlayer (ONWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS!)
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To: blam

Sadness. I saw “rail” and expected a Willie Green Happy Choo Choo thread.

(I just had a birthday. Perhaps that explains the nostalgia)


4 posted on 01/06/2012 4:44:42 AM PST by John O (God Save America (Please))
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To: LibLieSlayer

“We are in a depression and these arseholes keep saying we are doing better”

Rail might be doing better in this climate. The railroads do best when the cost of fuel is high. On the long hauls, railroads use 1/4 the fuel that long haul trucking uses (something on the order of 600 BTU/Ton-Mile as opposed to 2400 BTU/Ton-Mile). That factors into the other costs of transport (labor, infrastructure, time) and the lower fuel usage tips the scale toward rail for freight transport.


5 posted on 01/06/2012 5:07:39 AM PST by Londo Molari
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To: blam
I live near a major north-south line and cross it to and from work every day. Five years ago I would be stopped by 5-10 trans a week. Now if I see one it is an odd week. Last week was strange since I had two. Anecdotal, I know, but it was a clear sign to me the economy was dropping off, and will be a sign if it really is returning.
6 posted on 01/06/2012 5:16:37 AM PST by T. P. Pole
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To: blam

I’ll just point out that more than 200 ethanol plants have opened in the USA in the last few years. Each one generates huge amounts of rail traffic, and most have hundreds of freight cars of their own.


7 posted on 01/06/2012 6:23:08 AM PST by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: Londo Molari
One must remember that the richest families in America made their fortunes at the crest of the Great Depression... someone is always going to make money... but the reality is we are in a depression and the things that the government are doing are going to make it deeper and more prolonged. We may never recover and that is the truth.

LLS

8 posted on 01/06/2012 7:32:22 AM PST by LibLieSlayer (ONWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS!)
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To: Londo Molari

BTW Londo was a cool character.

LLS


9 posted on 01/06/2012 7:35:13 AM PST by LibLieSlayer (ONWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS!)
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To: blam

Freight rail is doing great. It’s one of the cheapest ways to ship goods cross country. The big railroads are investing lots of money in technology upgrades to meet new safety laws.

Now, high speed or passenger rail? Boondoggle. But freight rail is an important industry.


10 posted on 01/06/2012 7:37:41 AM PST by JenB
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