Rail Traffic Continues to Surge

Rail Traffic Continues to Surge

The trend we have seen the to this point this year is holding. If one looks at the top # for total rail traffic it is essentially flat YOY at 666k cars v 672k in ’11. If one factors in the collapse in coal, the 28k car difference means ’12 numbers are comfortably ahead in ’11 in the other categories.

Here is the coal chart:’


coalsm1 Rail Traffic Continues Trend

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Here is the total traffic:


railsm1 Rail Traffic Continues Trend

So, what rail traffic is telling us is we are still seeing an economy that is expanding YOY which means we will continue to see positive trends to both GDP and employment numbers. The even more encouraging news is the “what” is being hauled number. Stone products, forestry products and metal are all at multi-year highs. These are the “building” components and this means manufacturing and construction continues to grow and that is VERY encouraging.

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Todd Sullivan is a Massachusetts-based value investor and a General Partner in Rand Strategic Partners. He looks for investments he believes are selling for a discount to their intrinsic value given their current situation and future prospects. He holds them until that value is realized or the fundamentals change in a way that no longer support his thesis. His blog features his various ideas and commentary and he updates readers on their progress in a timely fashion. His commentary has been seen in the online versions of the Wall St. Journal, New York Times, CNN Money, Business Week, Crain’s NY, Kiplingers and other publications. He has also appeared on Fox Business News & Fox News and is a RealMoney.com contributor. His commentary on Starbucks during 2008 was recently quoted by its Founder Howard Schultz in his recent book “Onward”. In 2011 he was asked to present an investment idea at Bill Ackman’s “Harbor Investment Conference”.