March Numbers Look Familiar
"Ex-coal" has become an important qualifier when looking at recent railroad traffic data, and March was no exception. U.S. rail traffic dropped almost 6% on a year-over-year basis, and over 3% month-over-month for March. Ex-coal, the comparison improves to 2.4% (year over year) and ex-coal and ex-grain, it jumps further to 4.4%. While that's all well and good for the economy, the fact remains that lower carload volume is a headwind for rail operators.
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