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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

UP boosts coal train loadings again in April


Last month, Union Pacific Railroad loaded 916 coal trains in the southern Powder River Basin (SPRB) compared with 835 trains in April 2009.

The railroad registered 117 missed SPRB loading opportunities, 78 of which were attributable to utility plants, 21 to UP, 15 to mines and three to the joint line the Class I shares with BNSF Railway Co., according to UP’s weekly coal loading performance report. Missed loadings were partially offset by 73 extra loadings.

In addition, several unscheduled, month-end utility outages for SPRB customers resulted in UP loading 97.4 percent of National Coal Transportation Association (NCTA) demand for April, the report states. One major outage occurred because of a mechanical problem that is under repair and expected to extend into May.

UP also loaded 229 coal trains in the Colorado/Utah Region last month compared with 219 trains in April 2009. Loadings were impacted by the seasonal transition, two major longwall moves and high utility stockpiles, which are expected to carry over into this month, the report states. UP met 102.2 percent of NCTA demand in the region.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/7/2010