Powder River Basin coal loading volumes remain steady, high: STB

Houston (Platts)

Coal train loadings from the Powder River Basin have continued at volumes last seen during the winter, the most recent reports filed with the Surface Transportation Board showed.

Data in EP 724 filings from the four major US railroads Thursday showed on average 74.1 trains/d were loaded each day with PRB coal during the week ended August 21, up 1 train/d from the previous week. Daily PRB loadings have remained above 73 trains for the last three weeks, which has not happened since February.

PRB coal train loadings have now eclipsed an average of 70 trains/d in five of the last six weeks following 14 straight weeks that averaged only 63 loadings/d.

Coal train loadings from Central Appalachia and Northern Appalachia were down from the previous week, reports show. CAPP loadings fell to 20.4 trains/d from 22.2 trains/d, while NAPP loadings slipped to 13.9 trains/d from 14.2 trains/d.
Illinois Basin daily train loadings dropped to 9 trains from 9.3 trains during the previous week. ILB loading volumes have been below the yearly average of 9.8 trains/d for seven straight weeks.

Daily coal train loadings from the Utica Basin were up to 6.1 trains from 5.4 trains the week before, and loadings from outside the primary basins were up to 3.4 trains/d from 2.6 trains/d the previous week.

Coal train loadings nationwide were flat week over week at 126.8 trains/d and averaged 120.3 trains/d for the year.


In the west, BNSF reported an average of 52.8 daily coal train loadings, up from 50.6 trains the previous week, with 49.4 trains of PRB coal and 3.4 trains of coal from outside the primary basins.

Union Pacific reported an average of 30.8 daily coal train loadings, slightly up from 30.7 trains the previous week, with 24.7 trains of PRB coal and 6.1 trains of Utica Basin coal.

In the east, CSX reported an average of 22.2 daily train loadings, down from 23.5 trains/d the previous week, with 12 trains of CAPP coal, 5.6 trains of NAPP coal and 4.6 trains of ILB coal.

Norfolk Southern reported an average of 21.1 trains/d, down from 22 trains/d the previous week, with 8.4 trains of CAPP coal, 8.3 trains of NAPP coal and 4.4 trains of ILB coal.

–Jim Levesque, jim.levesque@platts.com
–Edited by Derek Sands, derek.sands@platts.com