Freight carload traffic rose 0.5% in the last week of September versus the year-ago level, and intermodal traffic climbed 2.9%, according to the Association of American Railroads. "Those who follow the rail industry know that carloads of grain and coal can rise or fall by substantial amounts for reasons that have little or nothing to do with the state of the economy," said John Gray, AAR senior vice president. "Not so with most other rail traffic categories, however. The fact that rail carloads excluding coal and grain were up 4.9% in September -- the biggest year-over-year monthly gain since last December -- is a hopeful sign."
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