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AAR: Rail traffic growth trend continues

U.S. rail traffic continued its upward climb, posting a 4.9 percent increase in carloads and intermodal units during the week ending July 21 compared with the same week last year, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data. U.S. railroads' carload volume rose 3.8 percent to 265,338 units, while intermodal volume increased 5.9 percent to 287,686 containers and trailers for the week compared with a year ago, according to an AAR press release. Eight of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR tracks on a weekly basis posted increases. They included grain, up 3,359 carloads to 23,767; petroleum and petroleum products, up 2,009 carloads to 11,102; and chemicals, up 1,785 carloads to 32,043. Commodities that logged decreases compared with the same week a year ago were coal, down 2,469 carloads to 85,865; and forest products, down 82 carloads to 10,313. Also during the week, Canadian railroads reported 80,302 carloads, up 7.2 percent, and 69,249 intermodal units, up 2.9 percent compared with the same week in 2017. Mexican railroads posted 22,093 carloads for the week, down 0.5 percent compared with the same week last year, and 17,963 intermodal units, down 4.9 percent. For the first 29 weeks of 2018: • U.S. railroads reported 15,498,252 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 3.9 percent compared to last year; • Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 4,282,727 carloads, containers and trailers, up 3.8 percent; and • Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads was 1,109,775 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers.

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