By Colin Kellaher
North American rail traffic posted a second straight weekly gain last week, rising 1.8% amid strong intermodal volume in the U.S. and Canada, data from the Association of American Railroads showed.
Carload volume fell 3.5% for the week ended Oct. 10 on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads, while intermodal traffic rose 6.9%, the trade group said Wednesday.
In the week ended Oct. 3, North American rail traffic rose 1%. For the first 41 weeks of the year, North American traffic is now down 9.5%, compared with a year-to-date decline of 9.8% reported a week earlier.
The AAR said U.S. rail traffic rose 1.9% last week, as an 8.4% rise in the volume of intermodal containers and trailers more than offset a 5.2% decline in carloads.
Analysts at Citi earlier this week said they believe U.S. rail fundamentals are turning, and that they expect volume to turn positive during the fourth quarter.
U.S. rail traffic is now down 10.1% for the year to date, the AAR said, compared with a decline of 10.4% reported a week ago.
Canadian rail traffic rose 4.7% last week, with carloads up 1.2% and intermodal units rising 8.5%. Canadian rail traffic is down 7% for the first 41 weeks of the year.
Partly offsetting the gains in the U.S. and Canada, Mexican rail traffic fell 10.7% last week, with carloads down 1.1% and intermodal units tumbling 20.2%. Mexican rail traffic is down 10.7% for the year so far, the AAR said.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires