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U.S. rail traffic climbed 5.7 percent to 526,970 carloads and intermodal units for the week ending May 13 compared with the same period a year ago, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).U.S. railroads logged 255,361 carloads, up 7 percent, and 271,609 containers and trailers, up 4.4 percent compared with a year ago. Nine of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR follows on a weekly basis posted increases compared with the same week a year ago. They included grain, up 26.3 percent to 23,256 carloads; coal, up 14.5 percent to 74,290 carloads; and nonmetallic minerals, up 6.5 percent to 38,167 carloads.The only commodity group to post a decrease for the week was petroleum and petroleum products, which plummeted 20 percent to 9,387 carloads.Also during the week, Canadian railroads' carload volume rose 20.4 percent to 78,046 carloads and intermodal volume increased 17.6 percent to 68,038 units compared with a year ago. However, Mexican railroads' carload volume declined 6.1 percent to 15,898 carloads, while intermodal volume rose 2.1 percent to 12,084 units compared with last year.For the first 19 weeks of 2017, U.S. railroads reported total combined traffic of 9,829,358 carloads and intermodal units, up 4 percent; Canadian railroads posted cumulative volume of 2,698,147 carloads, containers and trailers, up 10.7 percent; and Mexican railroads posted 498,560 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 2.2 percent, compared with the period last year.
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