Union Pacific Boosts SPRB Coal Shipments To Nation's Utilities During 2006 – Setting New One Year Record
The Nation’s Largest Railroad Moves 15 Million Additional Tons of SPRB Coal in 2006
Omaha, Neb., January 15, 2007 To help meet the nation’s ongoing reliance on coal, Union Pacific moved 194 million tons of coal from Wyoming’s Southern Powder River Basin (SPRB) during 2006 – a new record for the railroad.
Compared with 2005, Union Pacific moved an additional 895 trainloads of SPRB coal during the past year – an increase of 15 million tons of coal, or enough to generate a year’s worth of electricity for nearly 2.5 million homes.
As train numbers increased during 2006, so did train size. UP trains transporting coal out of the SPRB averaged just over 15,000 tons each in the fourth quarter—an increase of 200 tons over last year’s average. Investment in capacity improvements and new processes helped UP achieve the increased tonnage.
"Our employees are stepping up to the challenge to help meet our nation’s crucial energy needs," said Jim Young, president and CEO. "Their ideas and dedication helped fuel the increases we experienced in 2006, and together we are continuing to develop new ways to handle rising demand."
Additional rail line improvements in Wyoming are expected to help boost capacity on the Joint Line owned by UP and BNSF. Future improvements – a fourth main line on Logan Hill and a third main line north of Reno Junction – coupled with the addition of 14 landing spots at the mines for trains, also are expected to increase Joint Line capacity.
According to data released late last year by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the U.S. Department of Energy, coal inventories at the nation’s electric utilities were expected to end 2006 at their highest levels in four years. On Dec. 21, 2006, the EIA reported coal inventories at the nation’s utilities stood at 125.6 million tons, up 27.9 percent over a year ago. In its Short-Term Energy Outlook released on Dec. 12, 2006, EIA said it expects inventory levels to rise again in 2007, reaching 138.9 million tons by the end of the year.
Also in December 2006, the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) reported that utilities have ample supplies of coal on hand for the winter season, and that NERC had removed the SPRB from its reliability watch list.
About Union Pacific
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.
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