The comparison week from last year was affected by the Chinese New Year, which has a significant impact on container volume, AAR noted.
In the Eastern US, total carloads were up 3.3% compared with the same week last year, but off 16% from 2008. In the West, carloads were up 2% compared with 2009, but down 11.7% compared with 2008. Year-to-date total US rail freight was down 1.1% from the same eight weeks of 2009.
Combined North American pulp and paper freight for the week ending Feb. 27 at 9,266 carloads were flat with a year earlier and through eight weeks at 71,873 carloads was down 6.5%, AAR showed.
Weekly North American lumber and wood products volume at 4,888 carloads were 9.6% higher than last year and year-to-date were up 5.4% to 35,901 units. Primary forest products were up 22.1% and 3.2% respectively.