By Colin Kellaher


North American rail traffic surged 28% last week, as railroads continued to lap steep plunges in business last year related to the coronavirus pandemic, data from the Association of American Railroads showed.

Carload volume rose 23.2% for the week ended April 17 on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads, while intermodal traffic soared 32.5%, the trade group said.

In the week ended April 10, North American rail traffic rose 22.2%. For the first 15 weeks of the year, North American rail traffic is up 7.4%.

In the week ended April 11, 2020, North American rail traffic tumbled 20%, as vast swaths of the economy remain paralyzed by the pandemic.

The AAR said U.S. rail traffic rose 32.3% last week, with the volume of intermodal containers and trailers jumping 38.3% and carloads rising 25.2%. U.S. rail traffic is up 8.2% for the first 15 weeks of the year.

Canadian rail traffic rose 12.4% last week amid a 10.4% rise in intermodal units and a 14.2% increase in carloads. Canadian rail traffic is up 7.2% for the first 15 weeks of the year.

Mexican rail traffic rocketed 45% higher last week amid gains of 41.6% in carloads and 49.3% in intermodal units. For the year to date, Mexican rail traffic is down 1.6%, the AAR said.

Amid the improving industry conditions, Canadian National Railway Co. made a roughly $30 billion bid for Kansas City Southern, potentially kicking off a bidding war with rival Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd., which last month reached a $25 billion deal to buy Kansas City Southern.


Write to Colin Kellaher at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 22, 2021 10:25 ET (14:25 GMT)

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