Winter Storms, Road Closures Curtail Mine Operations
Omaha, Neb., April 2, 2007 Union Pacific today announced that recovery from extensive weather-related mine shutdowns in Wyoming could likely take as much as 10 to 14 days.
A series of storms that began on March 29 caused all ten mines served by the railroad in the Southern Powder River Basin to temporarily cease production. Severe flooding, more than two feet of snowfall and road closures forced the mines to take this action. On March 28, the State of Wyoming closed Highway 59, a major access road for Southern Powder River Basin miners. This closure prevented mineworkers, emergency services, and supplies from reaching the mines for several days. The impact of the severe weather on the mining equipment and the inability of workers to reach the mines made operations impossible.
As a result of the closures, approximately 160 trains were unable to load between the closure of the highway and this morning. Once Highway 59 reopened at noon on March 30, the mines were able to begin repair work and to eventually resume operations. One mine remains flooded and most others are operating at reduced capacity.
This complex supply-chain must balance mine production and loading capability with railroad capacity and unloading operations at the utilities. After an interruption, these operations must ramp-up together to avoid congestion or additional delay to the entire network. Union Pacific has begun increasing the movement of its coal trains as the mines resume production and will be working with the receiving utilities and other receivers to minimize the time it takes to cycle its trains between the mines and the destinations.
Further developments will be available on the company’s Web site at www.up.com.
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.
For further information, contact Gene Hinkle (402) 544-5867.
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