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Total U.S. weekly rail traffic fell 1.9 percent in March's first week compared with rail traffic during the same week in 2015, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) announced yesterday.U.S. railroads logged a total 512,202 carloads and intermodal units for the week ending March 5. They recorded 247,016 carloads, down 8 percent compared with the same week in 2015, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 265,186 containers and trailers, up 4.5 percent compared to 2015.Coal traffic continued its big slide, plummeting 29.6 percent to 71,669 carloads in the week compared with a year ago. Other commodity groups that posted decreases were petroleum and petroleum products, down 24.1 percent to 10,769 carloads; and farm products excluding grain, and food, down 4 percent to 16,799 carloads. Six of the 10 carloads posted increases compared with the first week in March 2015. They included: miscellaneous carloads, up 38.8 percent to 9,917 carloads; nonmetallic minerals, up 12.3 percent to 33,197 carloads; and motor vehicles and parts, up 11.9 percent to 18,892 carloads.Canadian railroads reported 71,273 carloads for the week, down 6.6 percent, and 58,074 intermodal units, down 0.7 percent compared with the same week in 2015. Mexican railroads reported 16,126 carloads for the week, up 1 percent compared with the same week last year, and 10,748 intermodal units, down 2.6 percent.For the first nine weeks of 2016, U.S. railroads reported a total combined traffic volume of 4,548,033 carloads and intermodal units, down 3.4 percent year over year; Canadian railroads logged 1,164,674 carloads, containers and trailers, down 3.5 percent; and Mexican railroads posted 244,859 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, up 1.9 percent.