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Although U.S. railroads' carload traffic continued its pattern of decline, intermodal volume remained steady for the week ending Dec. 5, according to data from the Association of American Railroads (AAR).For Week No. 48, AAR reported that total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 542,050 carloads and intermodal units, down 6.6 percent compared with the same week last year. Total carloads for the week fell 12.9 percent to 271,774 carloads, while intermodal volume rose 0.8 percent to 270,276 containers and trailers, compared with the same week in 2014.Two of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR follows posted an increase compared with the same week last year; they were miscellaneous carloads, up 15.5 percent to 9,063 carloads; and motor vehicles and parts, up 1.8 percent to 19,025 carloads. Among the commodity groups that declined during the week: Metallic ores and metals were down 24.6 percent to 21,318 carloads; coal, down 21.8 percent to 92,820 carloads; and petroleum and petroleum products, down 14.4 percent to 13,589 carloads.For the first 48 weeks of the year, U.S. railroads logged cumulative volume of 13,318,535 carloads, down 5.3 percent from the same point last year. U.S. railroads also reported a total of 12,801,015 intermodal units so far this year, up 1.8 percent from 2014. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 48 weeks the year was 26,119,550 carloads and intermodal units, a decrease of 1.9 percent compared to last year.Canadian railroads' carload traffic for the week decreased 9.2 percent to 75,925 carloads, but intermodal volume rose 4.6 percent to 58,508 intermodal units. For the first 48 weeks of 2015, Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 6,593,827 carloads, containers and trailers, down 1 percent.Mexican railroads posted 16,390 carloads for the week, a 1.7 percent increase compared with a year ago. Intermodal volume for the week was 10,138 intermodal units, a 9.4 percent decrease. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 48 weeks of 2015 was 1,308,538 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, up 1.5 percent from the same point last year.