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For the week ending Jan. 18, U.S. railroads reported 289,825 carloads, up 4.5 percent, and 267,428 intermodal loads, up 7.2 percent compared with volumes from the same week last year, according to the Association of American Railroads.Total combined U.S. traffic rose 5.8 percent to 557,253 units. Eight of 10 carload commodity groups posted gains, including nonmetallic minerals and products (20.9 percent), and petroleum and petroleum products (13.3 percent).For the first three weeks of 2014, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 793,520 carloads, down 0.7 percent year over year.Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported 76,771 carloads for the week ending Jan. 18, down 0.7 percent. But their intermodal volume rose 2.6 percent to 54,861 units. Mexican railroads' weekly carloads increased 6 percent to 15,393 units and their intermodal volume climbed 7.1 percent to 10,493 units.Through 2014's first three weeks, 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads handled 1,040,909 carloads, down 1.7 percent, and 860,833 containers and trailers, up 0.7 percent compared with the same 2013 period.