Yet another up month for UP loadings

THE positive momentum of increasing coal train loadings by major rail hauler Union Pacific in the Southern Powder River Basin is showing no signs of slowing.
Yet another up month for UP loadings Yet another up month for UP loadings Yet another up month for UP loadings Yet another up month for UP loadings Yet another up month for UP loadings

Image courtesy of Union Pacific

Donna Schmidt

For the month of October, UP loaded 1031 coal trains in the SPRB, versus 894 trains in October last year.

Of the 101 missed loading opportunities last month, just 13 were attributable to the railroad. Of the balance, 23 were due to mines and 65 were attributable to slow unloading at utility plants.

UP, however, more than made up for the shortfall by picking up 109 extra loadings in October.

In the Colorado/Utah region, the company’s other primary area of operation, it recorded 206 loaded coal trains, a drop from 217 a year ago. UP cited “sporadic production issues” on the North Fork branch and in Utah for the reduction.

The latest figures follow a successful September for the company; despite a derailment early in the month, SPRB loadings totaled 1009 versus 949 a year earlier.

While there were 146 missed loading opportunities in September, 58 were attributable to the shipper – including a September 8 derailment that blocked both empty and full SPRB trains for a short period of time. UP offset some of the missed loads with 75 extra loadings.

The downward trend in the Colorado/Utah region was seen during that month as well; September coal train loadings were 235 compared to 255 over the same month in 2009.

Union Pacific operates in 23 US states in the western two-thirds of the country. It and Burlington Northern Santa Fe are the two largest western coalfields coal shippers.