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U.S. railroads are off to a good traffic-generation start in September. For the week ending Sept. 7, they reported 278,594 carloads, up 2.2 percent, and 228,899 intermodal loads, up 6.7 percent compared with volumes from the same week last year, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).Total U.S. rail traffic climbed 4.2 percent to 507,493 units. Seven of 10 carload commodity groups posted gains, led by motor vehicles and parts at 21.9 percent. Farm and food products traffic, excluding grain, declined 8.6 percent.For the week ending Sept. 7, Canadian railroads reported 77,513 carloads, up 1.6 percent, and 52,837 intermodal loads, up 6.5 percent year over year. Mexican railroads' weekly carloads rose 2.8 percent to 14,567 units, but their intermodal volume dropped 12.6 percent to 9,196 units.Through 2013's first 36 weeks, 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads handled 13,412,073 carloads, down 0.2 percent, and 11,018,489 containers and trailers, up 3.7 percent compared with the same 2012 period.The AAR also announced it joined Federal Railroad Administration, City Colleges of Chicago and freight railroad representatives yesterday at a Transportation, Distribution and Logistics Expo held at Olive-Harvey College in Chicago.This year, freight railroads expect to hire more than 11,000 people, so events that can promote rail industry careers to students are vital to ensuring the industry remains successful, said AAR President and Chief Executive Officer Ed Hamberger in a press release."The rail industry is always looking for ways to recruit the best and the brightest students, and we encourage young Americans to explore the tremendous opportunities that a railroad career has to offer," he said.