Setting records is getting to be a habit for the nation's rail industry. For the ninth consecutive year, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) has announced that total freight volume moved by the U.S. railroads (as measured in ton-miles) has set an annual record. According to data released by the AAR, total volume for the first 51 weeks of 2006 reached 1.712 trillion tonmiles during the week ended Dec. 23, breaking the 52-week record of 1.696 trillion set in 2005. This year's total was 2.6 percent above the total for the first 51 weeks of 2005.
Both carload and intermodal volumes were also up from last year. The 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.