BNSF weathers winter conditions to boost coal train loadings in the PRB (2/15/2008)


Despite recent bouts with snow, ice and bitter cold temperatures, BNSF Railway Co. increased coal train loadings in the Powder River Basin. During a seven-day period ending Feb. 12, the railroad averaged 53.6 loadings per day, up 4 percent from the previous seven-day period's average.

"However, weather conditions are affecting BNSF coal train operations and some utilities' ability to unload trains," BNSF officials said in a service advisory issued yesterday. "The result is a lower-than-usual flow of empty trains back to the mines for reloading."

Snow- and ice-covered roads are adversely affecting crew transports to trains and low temperatures are causing speed restrictions and braking system problems.

In addition, ice and snow is accumulating on cars during transit, freezing coal in place, delaying the unloading process at some utilities and further reducing the flow of empty trains back to the mines, BNSF said. As of Feb. 14, the number of empty coal trains online had decreased 15 percent.

Source: Progressive Railroading Daily News