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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

UP's coal train loadings lag again in October


In October, Union Pacific Railroad loaded 894 coal trains in the southern Powder River Basin (SPRB) compared with 1,135 trains in October 2008.

On Oct. 16, a loaded coal train derailed 39 cars near Overton, Neb., blocking three mainlines for about two days. In addition, severe winter-like weather conditions on Oct. 29 and 30 between North Platte and the SPRB impacted operations and contributed to several missed train loadings, UP officials said in a weekly coal loading performance report.

All told, there were 138 missed loading opportunities, 59 of which were attributable to the derailment, 57 to utility plants, 20 to mines and two to the joint line shared with BNSF Railway Co. Missed loadings partially were offset by 102 extra loadings, UP said.

Last month, the Class Is also loaded 218 coal trains in the Colorado/Utah region vs. 333 trains in October 2008. On Oct. 7, 30 cars derailed in Dotsero, Colo., blocking a mainline for about two days between Denver and Grand Junction, Colo. In addition to the derailment, loadings were impacted by some mines in the region that continue to deal with coal production problems and lower demand from several plants, UP said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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