January 8, 2007 10:45 AM, EST

U.S. Freight Railroads Report Record-Breaking Year

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U.S. freight railroads completed a record-breaking year in 2006, moving record numbers of carloads and intermodal containers, the Association of American Railroads said.Full-year 2006 U.S. carloads totaled 17,380,102, up 1.2% from 2005.Intermodal container loadings were 12,282,221 units, up 5% over 2005’s level, which had been the previous highest annual total ever.Total freight volume also setting a record in 2006, AAR said, with an estimated 1.74 trillion ton-miles, up 2.5% from the previous record set in 2005.“Because of record high traffic levels, capacity expansion will be a key issue in 2007,” said Craig Rockey, AAR vice president. “Railroads will spend massive amounts of private capital to add capacity where it is needed, and policymakers can support this investment with appropriate legislative incentives and regulatory policies that recognize that railroads are a vital component of our economy.”