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Total U.S. rail carload volumes slipped 17.1 percent and intermodal units fell 6.3 percent for the week ending April 23, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported yesterday.Total U.S. rail traffic dropped 11.7 percent to 491,946 carloads and intermodal units compared with the same week last year.The decreases in carload volumes were led by coal, which plummeted 40.1 percent to 58,837 carloads. Other commodities that posted decreases were petroleum and petroleum products, down 24.9 percent to 11,348 carloads; and grain, down 7.9 percent to 18,340 carloads.Three of the 10 carload commodity groups tracked by AAR posted increases for the week. They were: miscellaneous carloads, up 23.3 percent to 9,515 carloads; chemicals, up 1.6 percent to 30,858 carloads; and motor vehicles and parts, up 1.3 percent to 19,138 carloads.Canadian railroads logged 68,351 carloads for the week, down 16.3 percent, and 60,979 intermodal units, down 2.3 percent compared with the same week in 2015. Mexican railroads reported 16,423 carloads for the week, down 0.1 percent compared with the same week last year, and 10,816 intermodal units, down 0.7 percent.For the first 16 weeks of 2016, U.S. railroads posted 7,953,707 carloads and intermodal units, down 7.6 percent compared to last year. Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 2,056,046 carloads, containers and trailers, down 6.5 percent compared with the year-ago period.Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 16 weeks of the year was 423,494 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 0.6 percent from the same point last year.