Union Pacific Railroad Updates Coal Shipment Progress on Wyoming Coal Line
Omaha, Neb., August 25, 2005 Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway this week completed an important phase of restoring the rail line serving Wyoming’s Southern Powder River Basin (SPRB).
Major track repairs became necessary following several service interruptions in mid-May on a rail line used by Union Pacific and BNSF railroads, which serves several coal mines in east Wyoming. At mid-week, maintenance activity shifted to "undercutting," which cleans coal dust out of the rock ballast supporting the track structure. Coal dust in ballast reduces water drainage from the track and deteriorates the stability of the track structure.
In recent weeks, the primary cause of reduced coal shipments has shifted from railroad repairs to the inability of SPRB mines to load trains.
Since the beginning of August, 70 percent of the missed trainloads are attributable to mines unable to load trains for a variety of reasons, ranging from landslides in the pits, to no coal inventory, to equipment upgrades. One mine has loaded only a couple of trains this week.
Union Pacific hopes the SPRB mines will resolve those problems by the beginning of September so that UP and BNSF can take advantage of all available track capacity. In the Powder River Basin, UP and BNSF recently opened another segment of a third main track, are planning to build an additional segment, and are launching a major study of capacity needs for the next five years. Once the maintenance backlog is resolved by BNSF, the railroad line will have adequate capacity.
In addition to this coal line restoration, Union Pacific has invested more than $6.2 billion in coal transportation since 1996.
Updates regarding SPRB service can be found on Union Pacific’s Web site at up.com under the Customers section.
Union Pacific Corporation owns one of America's leading transportation companies. Its principal operating company, Union Pacific Railroad, links 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country and serves the fastest-growing U.S. population centers. Union Pacific’s diversified business mix includes Agricultural Products, Automotive, Chemicals, Energy, Industrial Products and Intermodal. The railroad offers competitive long-haul routes from all major West Coast and Gulf Coast ports to eastern gateways. Union Pacific connects with Canada’s rail systems and is the only railroad serving all six major gateways to Mexico, making it North America’s premier rail franchise.
For more information, contact Mark Davis: (402) 544-5459.
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