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U.S. rail traffic barely grows in Week 36

U.S. railroads' total carload volume fell 1.9 percent during the week ending Sept. 9, but total railroad volumes ticked up 0.8 percent thanks to a 3.6 percent increase in intermodal traffic compared with the same week last year, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported this week. U.S. roads moved 247,930 carloads and 238,544 intermodal containers and trailers during the week, according to an AAR press release. Three of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR tracks on a weekly basis posted increases compared with the same period in 2016. They were coal, up 5,322 carloads to 92,488; metallic ores and metals, up 1,944 carloads to 21,549; and chemicals, up 952 carloads to 29,024. Commodity groups that logged decreases compared with a year ago included grain, down 5,146 carloads to 17,445; petroleum and petroleum products, down 2,518 carloads to 7,930; and nonmetallic minerals, down 1,894 carloads, to 33,506. Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported 79,197 carloads for the week, up 10.2 percent, and 62,938 intermodal units, up 11.7 percent compared with the same week in 2016. Mexican railroads posted 16,432 carloads for the week, up 10.3 percent compared with the same week last year, and 10,915 intermodal units, down 8.4 percent. For the first 36 weeks of 2017, U.S. railroads logged total combined traffic of 18,900,679 carloads and intermodal units, up 3.9 percent compared with last year; Canadian railroads posted cumulative volume of 5,166,593 units, up 11.5 percent; and Mexican railroads reported 977,767 units, up 0.5 percent.

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