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U.S. rail traffic climbs 3.9 percent in Week 15

U.S. railroads moved 519,318 carloads and intermodal units for the week ending April 15, a 3.9 percent increase compared with the same week last year, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR). Railroads logged 255,485 carloads for the week, up 6.2 percent, and 263,833 containers and trailers, up 1.7 percent, compared with the same week in 2016. The week ending April 15 this year included Good Friday, which is a holiday for many railroads and rail customers. The same week in 2016 did not include Good Friday. Three of the 10 carload commodity groups tracked by AAR on a weekly basis posted increases for the week. They were coal, up 29.7 percent to 81,942 carloads; nonmetallic minerals, up 6.2 percent to 37,865 carloads; and grain, up 3.8 percent to 21,566 carloads. Commodity groups that reported decreases compared with the same week in 2016 included petroleum and petroleum products, down 14.9 percent to 9,267 carloads; motor vehicles and parts, down 12.3 percent to 16,247 carloads; and metallic ores and metals, down 4.4 percent to 22,621 carloads. For the first 15 weeks of the year, U.S. railroads moved 7,744,122 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 3.8 percent compared with last year. Meanwhile, Canadian railroads' carload volume rose 18.2 percent to 83,898 units and intermodal climbed 5.7 percent to 62,616 containers and trailers during the week ending April 15 compared with a year ago. For the first 15 weeks of 2017, Canadian railroads logged cumulative volume of 2,106,096 carloads, containers and trailers, up 9.3 percent. Mexican railroads' carload volume for the week ending April 15 declined 12 percent to 14,021 units compared with a year ago. Year over year, intermodal volume plummeted 25.8 percent to 8,398 units. For the first 15 weeks of 2017, Mexican railroads moved 391,625 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 1.5 percent from the same period a year ago.

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