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North American Rail Traffic Rose 5.5% in Week Ended Nov. 23

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11/29/2019 | 01:02pm EST

By Colin Kellaher

North American rail traffic rose 5.5% last week, data from the Association of American Railroads showed, as a holiday calendar shift in the U.S. more than offset the impact of a strike at Canada's biggest rail network.

Carload volume for the week ended Nov. 23 on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads rose 1.3%, while intermodal traffic jumped 9.9%, the trade group said.

North American rail traffic was down 7.4% in the week ended Nov. 16. For the first 47 weeks of the year, North American volume is down 3.3%, compared with a year-to-date decline of 3.4% reported a week earlier.

The AAR said U.S. rail traffic rose 10.6% last week, following an 8.4% drop a week earlier, due to a calendar shift related to the Thanksgiving holiday. U.S. carloads rose 7.6% amid gains in nine of the 10 commodity groups tracked. The volume of U.S. intermodal containers and trailers jumped 13.5% for the week.

U.S. rail traffic is down 4.2% for the year to date, the AAR said, compared with a year-to-date decline of 4.5% reported a week earlier.

The AAR said Canadian rail traffic fell 9.2% last week amid a 16.2% plunge in carloads after workers at Canadian National Railway Co. (CNR.T) went on strike. The volume of intermodal units edged up 0.2%.

Canadian National struck a tentative agreement with the union representing 3,200 conductors and yard-crew workers Tuesday, bringing an end to the weeklong strike that threatened to upend Canada's economy.

Mexican rail traffic fell 0.3% last week, the AAR said, as a 4% drop in intermodal units more than offset a 3% rise in carloads.

Write to Colin Kellaher at colin.kellaher@wsj.com

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AAR CORP. -0.81% 45.405 Delayed Quote.1.60%
BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY INC. -0.28% 344000 Delayed Quote.1.58%
CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAY COMPANY -0.81% 125.18 Delayed Quote.6.94%
CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY LIMITED -1.52% 336.75 Delayed Quote.3.64%
CORN FUTURES (C) - CBR (FLOOR)/C1 3.66% 389.25 End-of-day quote.0.39%
CSX CORPORATION -1.54% 75.02 Delayed Quote.5.58%
KANSAS CITY SOUTHERN -0.23% 165.84 Delayed Quote.8.72%
NORFOLK SOUTHERN CORPORATION -2.04% 204.61 Delayed Quote.7.82%
UNION PACIFIC -1.32% 182.45 Delayed Quote.2.51%
WHEAT FUTURES (W) - CBR (FLOOR)/C1 0.93% 570.5 End-of-day quote.2.10%
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