Mixed news reported for coal shipments

Posted: Tuesday, September 1, 2015 3:00 am

An upward swing in Central Appalachian daily coal train loading last week pushed national loading volumes up the highest since May.

The Surface Transportation Board’s data shows the four major U.S. railroads showed an average of 22.2 trains were loaded each day with Central Appalachian coal, CAPP. That is a healthy increase from 19.5 trains a day the previous week and well above the average of 19.8 per day during the same time last year, the data shows.

The data also shows that it is the highest volume of coal loaded since May 1.

While Central Appalachian coal train loads were up, Northern Appalachian coal train loading fell to 14.2 trains per day from 15.3 the prior week. Combined, daily coal train loading for the Appalachian basins averaged 33.5 train loads per day this year, according to the data.

The Powder River Basin witnessed a decline in coal train loading. That region was down slightly from 73.4 two weeks ago, to 73.1 daily train loads last week.

This is the first time since February that the Powder River Basin, located in Montana and Wyoming, have been above 73 daily train loads in consecutive weeks, the data shows.

CSX, the major hauler of Appalachian coal, reported an average of 23.5 daily train loading, up from 21.7 the week before, with 13.1 trains loads daily of Central Appalachian coal and 5.6 daily train loads for Northern Appalachian coal.