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May 04, 2018

Freight traffic on American railroads up 5.1 percent in April

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reports that U.S. railroads originated 1,051,026 carloads in April 2018, up 3.3 percent, or 34,020 carloads, from April 2017. U.S. railroads also originated 1,099,000 containers and trailers in April 2018, up 6.8 percent, or 69,630 units, from the same month last year.

Combined U.S. carload and intermodal originations in April 2018 were 2,150,026, up 5.1 percent, or 103,650 carloads and intermodal units from April 2017.

"Total U.S. rail traffic so far this year is a shade below where it was in 2015, but otherwise is higher than it's been in the last ten years" said AAR Senior Vice President of Policy and Economics John T. Gray. "Additionally, 15 of the 20 commodity categories we track had higher carloads in April 2018 than in April 2017, the most since January 2015. That's good news for railroads and good news for the economy."

Excluding coal, carloads were up 26,683 carloads, or 3.8 percent, in April 2018 from April 2017. Excluding coal and grain, carloads were up 21,378 carloads, or 3.5 percent.

Total U.S. carload traffic for the first four months of 2018 was 4,347,225 carloads, up 0.6 percent, or 24,993 carloads, from the same period last year; and 4,595,381 intermodal units, up 5.8 percent, or 250,934 containers and trailers, from last year.

Source: AAR