Another loadings fall for Union Pacific

WESTERN coalfields railroad Union Pacific has again recorded a drop in year-on-year coal train loadings from the southern Powder River Basin.
Another loadings fall for Union Pacific Another loadings fall for Union Pacific Another loadings fall for Union Pacific Another loadings fall for Union Pacific Another loadings fall for Union Pacific

Courtesy Union Pacific.

Donna Schmidt

During the month, according to its most recent performance report, the shipper loaded 866 coal trains in the region, down notably from 1040 trains in November 2011.

It continues an already downward trend that has plagued it for the past several months. In fact, in October the company loaded 843 trains, 19% lower than 1047 loadings reported in October 2011.

The slide is quite an adjustment from a run of good numbers UP reported over the northern summer. In July, the rail shipper reported its best monthly SPRB volume since the start of 2012 with 952 loadings, a 16% jump from 820 loaded in July of last year.

The news got better in August, when the company had a year-to-date high of 974 trains.

However, it was the beginning of the year-on-year downward trend as the total trailed the 1130 trains it reported in August 2011.

By contrast, shipments from UP’s other main service area, the Colorado-Utah region, rose in November.

UP loaded 245 coal trains last month in the area, versus 201 trains a year ago.

In October, its totals in the region were 246, down year-on-year from 267.

UP serves 10 mines in the SPRB, five operations in Colorado and five mines in Utah.

Its total operation area encompasses 23 states in the western two-thirds of the US.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe and UP are the two largest shippers for the western coalfields.

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