Coal transportation on fast track

COAL stockpiles at electric facilities across the US are at their highest levels in three years, according to a report released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Coal transportation on fast track Coal transportation on fast track Coal transportation on fast track Coal transportation on fast track Coal transportation on fast track

Courtesy Union Pacific.

Donna Schmidt

According to the data, which the EIA released via the Association of American Railroads (AAR) late last week, inventories in May climbed up 6.4% over the month prior and jumped 11.1% over the same period in 2005.

The numbers varied by region of origination, with stockpiles of coal produced in the west up 9.2% from April and had a period-to-period increase of 10.6%. Similarly, coal produced mainly in the eastern states increased by 11.3% over May of last year.

The report also noted higher investment in coal transportation by the country’s freight railroad companies, as illustrated by a record total of $US8.3 million in capital investments for new track as well as the installation of double, triple and quadruple tracking lines in the Powder River Basin Region.

“All across the country, railroads are responding to the challenge of meeting the increased demand for coal and the needs of the nation’s electric utilities," Association president Edward Hamberger said.

“Railroads are moving more coal today than at any time in history. US coal producers and consumers have access to the most comprehensive and efficient coal transportation system in the world.”

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