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U.S. intermodal rail traffic rose 8.2 percent and carloads held steady at an 0.8 percent increase for the week ending Aug. 19 compared with a year ago, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.For the week, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 554,021 carloads and intermodal units, up 4.4 percent compared with the same week last year, AAR officials said in a press release.U.S. railroads' total intermodal volume for the week was 282,346 containers and trailers, while the number of carloads was 271,675.Five of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR tracks every week posted an increase compared with the same week in 2016. They included coal, up 8,391 carloads to 97,873; nonmetallic minerals, up 3,220 carloads to 40,109; and metallic ores and metals up 2,173 carloads, to 23,580.Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2016 included grain, down 7,031 carloads to 17,913; motor vehicles and parts down 2,346 carloads to 16,626; and petroleum and petroleum products down 1,575 carloads, to 9,357.Meanwhile, Canadian railroads logged 78,029 carloads for the week, up 10.3 percent, and 71,726 intermodal units, up 14.1 percent compared with the same week in 2016. Mexican railroads posted 15,669 carloads for the week, down 0.8 percent compared with the same week last year, and 12,436 intermodal units, up 6.3 percent.For the first 33 weeks of 2017, U.S. railroads reported total cumulative volume of 17,327,352 carloads and intermodal units, up 4.2 percent compared with the same period in 2016. Canadian railroads posted cumulative volume of 4,718,534 carloads, containers and trailers, up 11.5 percent; and Mexican railroads logged 892,626 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, remaining essentially flat compared with the same point last year.