Freight traffic on U.S. railroads reached its highest level
so far this year during the week ended November 21, the Association of American
U.S. railroads reported originating 287,087 carloads for the
week, down 6.8 percent compared with the same week in 2008 and down .7 percent
from the same week in 2007. Volume was up 2.1 percent from the previous week
this year. In order to offer a complete picture of the progress in rail traffic,
AAR will now be reporting 2009 weekly rail traffic with year over comparisons
for both 2008 and 2007. Note that the comparison weeks from both 2007 and 2008
included the Thanksgiving Holiday.
In the West, carloads were down 8.8 percent compared with
the same week last year, and 4.8 percent compared with 2007. In the East,
carloads were down 3.8 percent compared with 2008, but up 6 percent compared
with the same week in 2007.
Intermodal traffic totaled 213,382 trailers and containers,
down 3.1 percent from a year ago but up 11.5 percent from 2007. Compared with
the same week in 2008, container volume rose 3.4 and trailer volume dropped
26.8 percent. Compared with the same week in 2007, container volume rose 19.4
percent and trailer volume dropped 16.6 percent. Intermodal traffic was up 2.6
percent from the previous week this year.
While 13 of the 19 carload freight commodity groups were
down compared with the same week last year, increases were seen in nonmetallic
minerals (26.5 percent), grain (8.1 percent), chemicals (8.1 percent), waste
and scrap metal (6.5 percent), grain mill products (6.4 percent) and food and
kindred products (.4 percent). Declines in commodity groups ranged from .3
percent for petroleum products to 22.1 percent for crushed stone, sand and
Total volume on U.S. railroads for the week ending Nov. 21,
2009 was estimated at 32.1 billion ton-miles, down 6.1 percent compared with
the same week last year but up 4.9 percent from 2007.
For the first 46 weeks of 2009, U.S. railroads reported
cumulative volume of 12,325,563 carloads, down 17.3 percent from 2008 and 18
percent from 2007; 8,801,968 trailers or containers, down 15.6 percent from
2008 and 17.9 percent from 2007, and total volume of an estimated 1.32 trillion
ton-miles, down 16.4 percent from 2008 and 16.5 percent from 2007.
Years after it was closed for what was supposed to
be a six-month project, the Cortlandt Street subway station is partially
reopening Nov. 25, local media report. Northbound R and W trains will resume
service beginning around 3 p.m. that day. Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman and
Chief Executive Officer Jay Walder and other elected officials will be on hand
for the station's opening.
County Transit District's SPRINTER rail line in he San Diego area, Calif., area
has won the 2009 "Project of the Year" from the American Public Works
Association, an international professional association of public agencies and
private companies. APWA cited the SPRINTER as the Transportation Project of the
Year for projects valued over $75 million.
The Chesapeake, Va., City
Council is curious about light rail and whether it could connect to Chesapeake,
the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot reports. So on Nov. 24, the council voted 8-0 to
pursue a federally funded study on the possibility of extending light-rail
service to the city.
Rebuilding Metra's fourth
busiest stop, the 80th Avenue station in tinley Park, Ill.,, has been near the top of that suburb's wish list for years, according to the Chicago Tribune. More than $7 million in
Metra, federal, state and local funding was budgeted for the station overhaul,
and Tinley Park officials had a host of things they wanted done.
officials will break ground on a railway connector track Nov. 30 that should
relieve the majority of traffic backups caused by the railroad switching
station, The Daily Reflector reports. Vehicles are held up as often as three times daily on
Arlington Boulevard, 14th and Evans streets while trains change direction in
Unlike a normal railroad
grade crossing, at which cars must stop to let trains go by, the one proposed
for the rail spur leading into the Calverton Enterprise Park would be just the
opposite, the Riverhead, N.Y., Times Review reports. A freight train using the
spur would come to a complete stop prior to crossing River Road, a conductor
would get off and check for any cars, and would then signal the train to cross
Transportation Services, Inc., began operations of a new railroad, the Boise
Valley Railroad on November 23. Additional manpower and locomotive resources
were on hand to provide effective first day service on both the 11-mile Wilder
Branch and the 25-mile Boise Cut-off. Each job left the yard with more than 40
Union Pacific opened its
Donner Pass route to domestic double-stack intermodal container freight traffic
Nov. 19, marking the completion of a 12-month project designed to move customer
products over a shorter, faster and more efficient route.