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There was a good deal of skepticism earlier in the year about the impact of weather and a slow start to the economy in 2014, but if rail traffic is any guide then we’re starting to see a significant bounce back. Intermodal traffic just reached its highest weekly reading in 5 months and has recorded its strongest three consecutive weeks since 2010.

Here’s more via AAR:

"U.S. rail traffic rebounded strongly in March 2014 following a sub-par February. Grain led the way, as railroads are working hard to move the biggest grain harvest in history,” said AAR Senior Vice President John T. Gray. “In addition, coal carloads rose in March, something that’s happened just one other time in the past two years. March also demonstrated that we have every reason to be optimistic that 2014 will break 2013’s intermodal volume record.”

AAR today also reported increased rail traffic for the week ending March 29, 2014. U.S. railroads originated 301,317 carloads last week, up 7.2 percent compared with the same week last year, while intermodal volume for the week totaled 265,188 units, up 13.5 percent compared with the same week last year. Total U.S. rail traffic for the week was 566,505 carloads and intermodal units, up 10 percent compared with the same week last year.

Source: Rail Traffic Bouncing Back Strongly