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4/9/2008



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

BNSF sets PRB coal loading record in March


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Last month, BNSF Railway Co. loaded 23.9 million tons of coal in the Powder River Basin (PRB), setting a new monthly record. The railroad set the previous high-water mark of 23.7 million tons in November 2007.

The PRB total includes a monthly record 14.6 million tons loaded by mines on the 103-mile joint line BNSF shares with Union Pacific Railroad in Wyoming. The previous high of 14.2 million tons was set in January 2008.

"The fact that we were able to set these records despite flooding in the Midwest is a tribute not only to the BNSF people who kept the trains rolling, but also to the PRB mines and our utility customers who loaded and unloaded the trains promptly and helped us keep them moving," said Steve Bobb, BNSF group vice president-coal, in a news item posted on the "BNSF News" Web site.

During the first quarter, BNSF loaded 69 million tons of coal in the PRB, up 8.6 percent (or 5.4 million tons) compared with first-quarter 2007's total.

This month, some mines are planning large-scale construction projects, which might negatively affect April coal train loadings in the PRB and on the joint line, BNSF said.


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