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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

BNSF, UP set PRB train loading records in September

BNSF Railway Co. and Union Pacific Railroad handled a record number of coal trains in the Powder River Basin (PRB) last month.

BNSF loaded an all-time-high daily average of 52.4 coal trains compared with a 50.6-train average in September 2006 and the previous record of 51.8 trains set in December 2006. PRB volume totaled 23.2 million tons — the railroad's second-highest monthly tonnage ever.

BNSF set the train record came despite averaging 5.5 missed loading opportunities per day because of mine production problems, the Class I said.

Through nine months, BNSF loaded an average of 49.7 trains daily in the PRB, up slightly from its 49.3-train average during the same 2006 period.

Systemwide through nine months, BNSF loaded 215.8 million tons of coal, up 1.6 percent compared with volume during 2006's first nine months.

Meanwhile, UP averaged a record 37.1 daily train loadings in the PRB last month, breaking the previous high-water mark of 36.96 trains set in February 2005. Loadings totaled a record 1,114 trains and volume reached an all-time-high 17.1 million tons for a September.

In addition, the Class I set a seven-day loading record at 278 trains and single-day record of 44 trains, besting all-time marks set earlier this year.

UP also recorded 110 missed train-loading opportunities in the basin, 86 of which were attributed to mines. However, the railroad partially offset the missed opportunities with 43 extra loadings.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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