The Association of American Railroads publishes an excellent monthly compendium of economic data called Rail Time Indicators. I’ve been meaning to mention it for months.
The latest edition reports another sign of economic recovery: March freight rail traffic recorded its first year-over-year gain in almost two years:
A second chart shows just how much freight activity declined in the fall of 2008 and how far it still has to go to recover (watch out for the truncated y-axis, though):
The report slices and dices these data in all sorts of interesting ways, e.g., by product (coal, chemicals, etc.). Highly recommended for macro data lovers.
P.S. Calculated Risk provides further excerpts on the report.