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During the week ending April 21, U.S. railroads moved 264,552 carloads and 274,873 intermodal loads, up 3.5 percent and 8.9 percent, respectively, compared with the same 2017 period, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.Total weekly U.S. rail traffic reached 539,425 units, up 6.2 percent year over year.Seven of 10 carload commodity groups tracked by the AAR posted gains, including coal (up 3,922 units), nonmetallic minerals (up 3,328 units) and grain (up 2,424 units). Groups that registered declines included metallic ores and metals, petroleum and petroleum products, and farm products excluding grain and food.Through 2018's first 16 weeks, U.S. railroads reported 4,080,772 carloads, up 0.4 percent, and 4,310,336 intermodal units, up 5.6 percent from the same point last year.For the week ending April 21, Canadian railroads registered 80,327 carloads, down 2.2 percent, and 64,061 intermodal units, down 2.7 percent year over year. Through 16 weeks, their total traffic declined 2.7 percent to 2,312,464 units.Mexican railroads reported 21,369 carloads and 16,679 intermodal units for the week, and 607,062 total units for the 16-week period.Total North American rail volume through 16 weeks — covering 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads — reached 11,310,634 units, up 2.7 percent versus last year.