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Total U.S. carload traffic for the week ending Dec. 26 declined 17.9 percent, but intermodal volume rose 1.6 percent compared with the same week in 2014, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).U.S. railroads ended the week with total traffic of 391,107 carloads and intermodal units, down 9.8 percent compared with 2014, AAR reported in a press release.Two of the 10 carload commodity groups tracked by the association posted increases for the week: miscellaneous carloads, which were up 17.8 percent to 6,273 carloads; and motor vehicles and parts, which were up 12.8 percent to 13,229 carloads.Commodity groups that logged decreases compared with the same week in 2014 included coal, down 31.6 percent to 70,350 carloads; petroleum and petroleum products, down 26.2 percent to 10,537 carloads; and metallic ores and metals, down 26.1 percent to 17,001 carloads.North American rail volume for the week on 13 reporting U.S. Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 281,217 carloads, a decrease of 16.7 percent; and 234,893 intermodal units, a slight increase of 0.4 percent compared with the 51st week in 2014.For the first 51st weeks of the year, U.S. railroads' cumulative volume was 27,581,187 carloads and intermodal units, a decrease of 2.3 percent compared with the same period a year ago.Canadian railroads' cumulative rail traffic volume for the 51 weeks was 6,960,578 carloads, containers and trailers, down 1.5 percent. Mexican railroads' cumulative volume was 1,381,948 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, up 1.2 percent from the same point last year.