OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- CSX Corp. remains optimistic the railroad will be able to improve profits over the next two years even though coal demand has remained stubbornly weak.

Officials at the Jacksonville, Fla.-based railroad said Wednesday that shipments of intermodal containers and merchandise will continue to be a larger part of their business as coal demand shrinks.

CSX officials say they expect the economy to continue growing slowly next year, driving much of the growth in its shipments. The railroad has seen robust growth in shipments of crude oil and products related to housing construction.

CSX said Tuesday its third-quarter net income rose 2% to $463 million, or $0.46 per share, as revenue rose 4% to nearly $3 billion. That beat Wall Street expectations.

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