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U.S. rail traffic climbed 3.8 percent to 524,905 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending April 7 compared with traffic the same week a year ago, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).U.S. carload traffic during the week rose 4.6 percent to 261,898 units, while intermodal volume increased 3.1 percent to 263,007 containers and trailers compared with the same week in 2017.Five of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR follows on a weekly basis posted increases compared with the same week last year. They included coal, up 6,497 carloads to 81,476; metallic ores and metals, up 2,427 carloads to 23,401; and chemicals, up 2,138 carloads to 33,694.Commodity groups that logged decreases during the week compared to a year ago included motor vehicles and parts, down 759 carloads to 17,103; nonmetallic minerals, down 587 carloads to 35,567; and miscellaneous carloads, down 331 carloads to 9,087.Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported 83,042 carloads for the week, up 6.5 percent, and 69,295 intermodal units, up 10.7 percent compared with the same week in 2017. Mexican railroads posted 20,542 carloads for the week, down 6.3 percent compared with the same week last year, and 16,703 intermodal units, down 2.9 percent.For the first 14 weeks of 2018 compared with the same period last year: • Total combined U.S. traffic increased 2.7 percent to 7,317,485 carloads and intermodal units;• Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 2,016,093 carloads, containers and trailers, up 3 percent; and• Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads was 530,721 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 1.9 percent.