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The week that ended June 15 was a good one for U.S. railroads. They originated 288,879 carloads, up 0.5 percent, and 254,266 intermodal loads, up 1.7 percent compared with volumes from the same week last year, according to the Association of American Railroads.Total U.S. traffic for the week climbed 1.1 percent to 543,145 carloads as four of 10 carload commodity groups posted gains. Among the gainers: petroleum and petroleum products, up 35.6 percent, and chemicals, up 7 percent.Although the majority of crude oil shipments originate in the western U.S., petroleum product volumes have benefited both western and eastern railroads, said Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc. analysts in their latest "Rail Flash" report. Among the four largest Class Is through 2013's first 24 weeks, BNSF Railway Co.'s petroleum product carloads skyrocketed 72 percent, Norfolk Southern Railway's soared 63 percent, CSX Corp.'s jumped 52 percent and Union Pacific Railroad's climbed 38 percent, they said.Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported weekly carloads totaling 78,724, up 2.3 percent, and intermodal volume totaling 54,738 units, up 0.8 percent year over year. For the week ending June 15, Mexican railroads' carloads rose 8.9 percent to 16,429 but their intermodal volume declined 1.8 percent to 9,793 units.Through 24 weeks, 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 8,896,141 carloads, down 0.4 percent, and 7,246,275 containers and trailers, up 3.9 percent compared with the same 2012 period.
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