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Rail News: Union Pacific Railroad

Union Pacific releases high coal train counts for August, starts trackwork in Iowa

Union Pacific Railroad loaded 974 coal trains in the Southern Powder River Basin (SPRB) in August, the most since January’s 1,022 trains, according to the Class I’s weekly coal loading performance report. But last month's total trailed the 1,130 coal trains that were loaded in the SPRB in August 2011.

In the Colorado/Utah Region, the railroad loaded 257 coal trains in August — the highest monthly total so far in 2012, UP officials said in the report. The August mark also slightly bested the 253 coal trains that were loaded in the region a year ago.

During the month, UP dealt with a train accident that occurred on a key coal line. On Aug. 15, 23 cars derailed on a bridge near Ringer, Kan., along a primary route for coal trains moving south of Kansas City to Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas, UP officials said. The bridge was destroyed, but then was rebuilt by Aug. 23.

Meanwhile, UP also announced plans to spend about $14 million to upgrade a line between Grand Mound and Boone, Iowa. To be completed by mid-November, the work includes replacing 2.5 miles of rail in various curves and 80,000 ties, spreading 44,800 tons of ballast and renewing surfaces at 84 grade crossings.

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More News from 9/6/2012