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The last full week in 2013 was a good one for U.S. railroads. For the period ending Dec. 28, they reported 230,933 carloads, up 8.1 percent, and 172,396 intermodal loads, up 10.6 percent compared with volumes from the same week in 2012, according to the Association of American Railroads.Total combined U.S. traffic climbed 9.2 percent to 403,329 units and nine of 10 carload commodity groups posted gains, including grain at 36.8 percent, petroleum and petroleum products at 29.8 percent, and nonmetallic minerals and products at 14.3 percent.Canadian railroads reported week No. 52 carloads totaling 59,830, down 0.4 percent, and intermodal volume totaling 37,662 units, up 8.1 percent year over year. Mexican railroads' weekly carloads fell 6 percent to 9,690 units and their weekly intermodal volume dipped 9.6 percent to 5,775 units.Through 52 weeks, 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads handled 19,480,280 carloads, up 0.2 percent, and 16,140,885 containers and trailers, up 4.4 percent compared with the same 2012 period.
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