By Colin Kellaher


North American rail traffic jumped 25.8% last week, wrapping up a month of massive gains that lapped steep drops in business last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, data from the Association of American Railroads showed.

Carload volume surged 26.4% for the week ended May 1 on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads, while intermodal traffic rose 25.2%, the trade group said Wednesday.

In the week ended April 24, North American rail traffic rose 24.8%. For the first 17 weeks of the year, North American rail traffic is up 9.3%.

The AAR said U.S. rail traffic rose 29.6% last week, with carloads up 27.2% and the volume of intermodal containers and trailers surging 31.6%. U.S. rail traffic is now up 10.5% for the year to date.

"A number of U.S. rail traffic categories have completely recovered ground lost during the pandemic or are very close to doing so," said John Gray, AAR senior vice president. "For example, April set a new all-time record for intermodal, driven by surging international trade and strong consumer spending."

Canadian rail traffic was up 8.7% last week amid a 16.4% rise in carloads and a 1.1% rise in intermodal units. Canadian rail traffic is up 7.2% for the first 17 weeks of the year.

Mexican rail traffic surged 57.3% last week, as carloads soared 69.6% and intermodal units rose 43.4%. Mexican rail traffic is up 2.8% for the year to date, the AAR said.


Write to Colin Kellaher at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 05, 2021 13:32 ET (17:32 GMT)

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