By Jim Levesque
September 5, 2017 - US coal train loadings volumes have slipped from year-high counts as gains in the eastern basins were outpaced by losses from the Powder River Basin, the most recent railroad data showed.
Data filed by the four major US railroads -- CSX, Union Pacific, BSNF and Norfolk Southern -- for the week ending August 25 shows nationwide coal loadings averaged 112 trains/d, down from 115.3 trains/d the previous week.
Despite the decline, the latest total marks the second-highest weekly average of the year.
PRB loadings slipped to 62.7 trains/d from the previous 2017-best 65.7 trains/d the prior week. PRB counts have stayed above 60 trains/d in the last seven weeks.
In the east, Central Appalachian, Northern Appalachian and Illinois basins all set a new year-high averages for the second straight week.
CAPP counts climbed to 17.6 trains/d from 17.4 trains/d, NAPP loadings grew to 13.8 trains/d from 13.6 trains/d, and Illinois Basin volumes climbed to 9.4 trains/d from 9.2 trains/d.
In other production areas, Utica Basin loadings climbed to a year-high 5.1 trains/d from 4.7 trains/d, while loadings from the outside the primary basins were down to 3.7 trains/d from 4.6 trains/d.