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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Severe weather in Wyoming slows UP's PRB coal traffic


Severe floods and more than two feet of snow that hit parts of Wyoming last week have halted the majority of Union Pacific Railroad’s coal traffic out of the Powder River Basin (PRB). And the Class I will need 10 to 14 days to get train operations back to normal.

A series of storms prompted all 10 southern PRB mines served by UP to temporarily cease production. Between March 29 and April 2, the railroad was unable to load 160 coal trains. Currently, one mine remains flooded and most others are operating at reduced capacity, UP said.

The railroad is beginning to increase coal train moves as mines resume production, and working with utilities and other receivers to minimize cycle times between mines and coal destinations.

“This complex supply chain must balance mine production and loading capability with railroad capacity and unloading operations at the utilities,” UP officials said in a prepared statement. “After an interruption, these operations must ramp-up together to avoid congestion or additional delay to the entire network.”

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More News from 4/4/2007