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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

UP's PRB, Colorado/Utah coal loadings continue to lag 2008's pace


Halfway through June, Union Pacific Railroad’s coal train loadings in the Powder River Basin (PRB) and Colorado/Utah were well below June 2008 levels.

As of June 14, the Class I had loaded 408 trains in the southern PRB and 93 trains in Colorado/Utah. The railroad is on pace this month to load a total of 874 trains in the PRB and 199 trains in Colorado/Utah compared with 975 and 321 trains, respectively, in June 2008.

Through June’s first two weeks, UP reported 59 missed PRB loading opportunities, 16 of which were attributable to mines, 37 to utilities and six to the railroad. The missed loadings were partially offset by 22 extra loadings.

“Several utility plants have been experiencing higher-than-usual occurrences of breakdowns and slow unloading situations, which has delayed the return of empty trains for loading,” UP officials said in a weekly coal train loading report.

Meanwhile, Colorado/Utah train loadings continue to be depressed because of mine production problems and lower demand from several utilities, they said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/16/2009