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Buffett Railroad Sees Economy Sapping Pre-Holiday Peak: Freight

North American railroads from Warren Buffett’s Burlington Northern Santa Fe to CSX Corp. are bracing for limited increases in pre-holiday shipments as weak consumer sentiment exacerbates shrinking corn and coal loads.

BNSF, which moves imported Asian consumer goods from West Coast ports, hasn’t seen a measurable gain in holiday-related volumes, Chief Marketing Officer John Lanigan said this week. CSX, the biggest carrier in the eastern U.S., and Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. both forecast a “modest” advance.