|  Clifton Linton

CSX Roils Rail Industry in 2017 With Remake, Leaves Question Mark for 2018

The year 2017 was a good year for the railroad industry. The economy was strong and traffic was up.

Through the week ending Dec. 2, total U.S. rail traffic (carload and intermodal) stood at 25.4 million units, up 3.3% from 2016, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) said. Through the first 48 weeks of the year, total traffic averaged 529,705 units. Coal was the big driver of traffic, but volumes are off from 2015 and 2006, the year of the best traffic levels railroads have seen this century. Petroleum carloads, in 2017, were down 13% from 2016, through the first 48 weeks of the year.

Zacks Equity Research noted in recent commentary that “improving fortunes of railroad operator...

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