Flooding doesn't drown out UP June loadings

COAL rail shipper Union Pacific says it has boosted year-on-year loadings in the Southern Powder River Basin despite flooding on the Missouri River that left some of its tracks waterlogged.
Flooding doesn't drown out UP June loadings Flooding doesn't drown out UP June loadings Flooding doesn't drown out UP June loadings Flooding doesn't drown out UP June loadings Flooding doesn't drown out UP June loadings

Image courtesy of Union Pacific

Donna Schmidt

In its performance report for June, released this week, UP said it loaded 982 coal trains over the month of June, versus 921 trains in June 2010. It also met 93.5% of National Coal Transportation Association demand.

In May it reported 876 loaded coal trains in the SPRB region. Weather created some transport issues for the company during that month as well.

UP had 147 missed loading opportunities in the region in June, 53 of which were attributable to mines. Another 47, it noted, were due to slow unloading at plants.

The remaining 47 were caused by operational issues, which mostly related to the Missouri River flooding that impacted the return times for empty trains. While the river’s levels have stabilized, flooding is still continuing to have a hold on the area and some areas of the river remain above flood stage.

“Our tracks on the Falls City subdivision north of Kansas City were flooded in multiple locations beginning June 29,” officials said in the report.

“The River subdivision east of Kansas City was lost due to high water and flooding on July 1. Tracks in both areas will remain out of service until further notice.”

On a positive note, UP said it was able to offset the missed loading opportunities in June by securing 79 extra loadings.

In the Colorado/Utah region, UP’s other primary area of service, June coal train loadings totaled 209, down slightly from 211 last June. Month-on-month loadings also dropped, from 194 in May.

UP’s 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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