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Genesee & Wyoming March traffic rises 3.5 percent

GREENWICH, Conn. (AP) -- Railroad company Genesee & Wyoming Inc. said on Thursday that its rail traffic doubled in March because of its acquisition of regional rail operator RailAmerica.

Carloads would have risen 3.5 percent in March compared with a year earlier if the company had owned RailAmerica then, it said. Not counting other acquisitions, shipments on railroads owned during both periods would have risen 1.6 percent

For the first quarter, carloads rose 4.5 percent compared to a year earlier, on an adjusted basis.

The March increase was driven by increases in agricultural products, minerals, lumber and petroleum, which jumped 40 percent.

Coal shipments — the company's biggest type of cargo — fell 2.7 percent in March, on an adjusted basis. Metal shipments also declined.

Total carloads for March were 154,077, up from 148,879 a year earlier because of the RailAmerica purchase.

First-quarter adjusted coal shipments rose 4.1 percent, and mineral shipments also rose. Agricultural shipments fell.

Shares of Genesee & Wyoming closed Wednesday at $88.21, up nearly 16 percent since the start of the year.