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NS fetches mine's business, fine-tunes shuttle-train service to build Ohio coal revenue


The old adage "two is better than one" might best describe Norfolk Southern Railway's good fortune — and team approach — in quadrupling its northern region coal business in Ohio during the past year.

NS already was serving Ohio Valley Coal Co.'s Powhatan mine when American Energy Corp. opened Century Mine in nearby Beallsville, Ohio, in February 2002. Because Ohio Valley Coal and American Energy both are owned by Murray Energy Corp., the railroad seized a chance to serve both mines.

"We saw a great opportunity to improve our service, get new business from Century Mine and increase our existing business from the Powhatan mine, which receives some of its coal by truck," said Chuck Fike, NS account manager, utility coal north, in the Class I's May newsletter.

Operations and engineering employees, and mine officials worked together to build a track into Century Mine, develop quicker loadings for both mines using new high-capacity, rapid discharge equipment, improve transit and turnaround times, and assign a trainmaster to monitor the mines' coal moves.

The Class I now daily moves three 65-car shuttle trains 17 miles from the mines to a river terminal, where coal is barged to three utilities.

"This is top-line business growth for NS," said Fike.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/22/2003