UP loadings up despite Midwest flooding

COAL rail shipper Union Pacific says its year-on-year loadings from the Southern Powder River Basin rose slightly last month despite continued issues with flooding along its primary routes.
UP loadings up despite Midwest flooding UP loadings up despite Midwest flooding UP loadings up despite Midwest flooding UP loadings up despite Midwest flooding UP loadings up despite Midwest flooding

Image courtesy of Union Pacific

Donna Schmidt

In its recently-released performance report for July, UP said it loaded 1036 trains in the SPRB, compared to 1033 in July 2010. It met 90.2% of National Coal Transportation Association demand over the month.

The loading performance is also a trend of improvement for the railroad, which loaded 982 coal trains over the month of June versus 921 trains in June 2010. It met a higher NCTA rate, 93.5%, that month.

UP reported 188 missed SPRB loading opportunities, 30 of which were attributable to mines and another 30 of which were from slow plant unloading.

The majority of the missed loads were due to operational issues that stemmed from the flooding, UP said, although it was able to offset some of them with extra loads.

“River levels on the Missouri have dropped along the River subdivision east of Kansas City and the Falls City subdivision north of Kansas City, where we have begun to run some trains at reduced speeds with ongoing curfews and slow orders while track repairs are under way,” the company said in the report.

“Some coal trains continue to move via detour routes.”

In the Colorado/Utah region, UP’s other primary area of service, July coal train loadings totaled 214, down slightly from 209 last July. Month-on-month loadings also dropped, from 209 in June.

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.

loader