The Association of American Railroads said total weekly carloads of 288,803 for the week ending Aug. 10 was 0.2 percent lower than the same time last year. The AAR said grain deliveries were down 11.4 percent, though six of the 10 commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2012.
The 12,726 carloads for petroleum and petroleum products, which represents about 8.2 million barrels of oil, was 16.8 percent higher year-on-year, the industrial group said Thursday.
The Energy Department said this week there is a growing supply of crude oil on the West Coast that can't be accounted for by production, imports or other means. It said this "unaccounted-for" crude oil was likely headed West by rail.
Oil production in the United States has increased to the point that it's straining existing pipeline capacity. The State Department, in a draft assessment of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, said rail should be considered when gauging the project's national interest.