SAN FRANCISCO, April 12, 2013 (RISI) -Shortline and regional carrier Genesee & Wyoming reported its first quarter pulp and paper railroad traffic was up 5.1% from a year ago. The 40,778 carloads in the quarter were compared pro-forma to reflect G&W's merger with RailAmerica in 2012.
Lumber and forest products freight at 33,625 carloads was up 16.2% from 2012, reflecting the ongoing recovery in US homebuilding.
G&W's pro-forma total traffic was up 3.1% to 394,971 carloads.
The Assn of American Railroads reported total North American forest products freight -- including pulp and paper, lumber and wood products, and primary products such as logs and chips - was up 1.5% over 14 weeks of 2013 to 261,990 carloads compared with the same period in 2012. In the latest, forest products volume was up 9.9%.
AAR has discontinued separate reporting for pulp and paper rail volume. Pulp and paper accounted for about 50% of the forest products volume in 2012.
Year-to-date forest products traffic in the US was up 3.4%, in Canada was down 0.8% and in Mexico dropped 25.3%.
Total North American rail traffic over 14 weeks at 5.1 million carloads was down 1%, AAR showed.