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This year's story of U.S. rail traffic growth continued into week No. 31, with railroads logging a 4.2 percent increase in carloads and intermodal units over the same week a year ago, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.Total carloads for the week ending Aug. 4 were 279,907 units, up 3 percent, while U.S. intermodal volume for the week was 291,088 containers and trailers, up 5.4 percent, compared with the same week in 2017, AAR officials said in a press release.'Eight of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR tracks on a weekly basis posted increases during the week compared with a year ago. They included grain, up 4,204 carloads to 25,060; petroleum and petroleum products, up 1,456 carloads to 10,837; and motor vehicles and parts, up 1,111 carloads to 16,709.The two commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week last year were miscellaneous carloads, down 1,039 carloads to 10,227; and nonmetallic minerals, down 508 carloads to 38,410.Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported 84,472 carloads for the week, up 10.6 percent, and 73,212 intermodal units, up 5.8 percent compared with the same week in 2017. Mexican railroads reported 21,048 carloads for the week, up 14.8 percent compared with the same week last year, and 19,389 intermodal units, up 4.1 percent.For the first 31 weeks of 2018:• U.S. railroads logged 16,628,401 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 3.9 percent compared with last year;• Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 4,593,177 carloads, containers and trailers, up 3.9 percent compared with last year; and• Mexican railroads reported 1,190,630 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers.