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A 3.8 percent increase in intermodal traffic wasn't enough to boost total U.S. rail traffic for the week ending April 4, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported yesterday. Combined, total U.S. carloads and intermodal units slipped 1.5 percent to 549,021 compared with the same week a year ago.U.S. carload numbers for the week plummeted 6.2 percent to 277,894 compared with the same week in 2014, while intermodal volume rose 3.8 percent to 271,127 containers and trailers.Two of 10 carload commodity groups posted increases: Grain was up 5.7 percent to 20,868 carloads, and forest products were up 2.3 percent to 11,215 carloads. Groups that decreased included coal, which was down 11.7 percent to 102,298 carloads.For the first 13 weeks of 2015, U.S. railroads posted cumulative volume of 3,644,976 carloads, down 0.2 percent; and 3,289,725 intermodal units, up 0.4 percent. Total combined U.S. traffic for the period was 6,934,701, up 0.1 percent compared with a year ago.Canadian railroads posted 77,920 carloads for the week ending April 4, up 1.2 percent; and 61,736 intermodal units, up 5.8 percent compared with the same week in 2014. For the first 13 weeks of 2015, Canadian railroads handled cumulative rail traffic volume rose 7.9 percent to 1,766,813 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers.Mexican railroads reported carloads decreased 9.4 percent to 14,228 for the week compared with last year, while intermodal traffic plunged 25.8 percent to 7,402 units. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads during 2015's first 13 weeks rose 2 percent to 341,977 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers compared with the 2014 period.