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Houston — US coal carload counts increased for the second week and have reached a level last seen in February, Association of American Railroads data showed Wednesday.

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For the week ending July 22, the AAR reported 88,304 coal carloads traveled US railways, up 2% from the previous week and up 7% from the year-ago week.

Volumes were last higher the week ending February 18 at 90,927 carloads. Coal counts year to date are up 16.4%, or about 338,000 carloads, compared to the first 29 weeks of 2016.

Canadian railroads -- which include the US operations of Canadian National, which serves several mines in the Illinois Basin, and Canadian Pacific -- saw originations slide to 6,728 coal carloads, down 6.8% from the previous week and down 6.6% from the same week last year.

Canadian coal volumes are up 3.8% year to date.

--Jim Levesque,

--Edited by Richard Rubin,