UP wraps year on high note

UNION Pacific boosted its southern Powder River Basin loadings as it ended 2010, the coal rail shipper said in its most recent performance report.
UP wraps year on high note UP wraps year on high note UP wraps year on high note UP wraps year on high note UP wraps year on high note

Image courtesy of Union Pacific

Donna Schmidt

The company loaded 984 coal trains from the region in the month of December, up from 958 trains in December 2009 and 968 trains in November 2010.

UP missed 116 loading opportunities in the SPRB, 37 of which were self-caused. Of the remainder, 18 were attributable to mines and 61 were due to slow unloading at utility plants.

It was able to offset the missed opportunities in December with 139 extra loadings.

While travel was stalled by a 59-car derailment in Nebraska December 26, both blocked main tracks were returned to service the following day.

Loadings from UP’s other primary shipment area, the Colorado/Utah region, rose in December but were down year-on-year. The Class I company loaded 220 coal trains last month, up from 189 trains in November, but down from 239 loadings in December 2009.

UP reported that sporadic mine production issues continued to have an impact on its train loadings in the region.

In October, UP loaded 1031 coal trains in the SPRB, versus 894 trains in October 2009. It missed 101 loading opportunities, but just 13 were attributable to the railroad.

In Colorado/Utah, the company recorded 206 loaded coal trains in October, a drop from 217 last October. UP cited the sporadic production issues on the North Fork branch and in Utah for the reduction.

Union Pacific’s operation area encompasses 23 states in the western two-thirds of the US. It and Burlington Northern Santa Fe are the two largest shippers for the western coalfields.

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