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US coal rail traffic up 9.9% YOY in final week of 2018

Total U.S. coal rail traffic for the week ended Dec. 29, 2018, climbed 9.9% year over year to 68,511 carloads, according to data from the Association of American Railroads.

Year-to-date coal rail traffic decreased 0.3% through the week, while total rail traffic for the week grew 5.1% year over year to 411,676 carloads and intermodal units. The railroads saw substantial week-over-week decreases in traffic due to the Christmas holiday.

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BNSF Railway Co. coal shipment volumes clocked in at 32,357 carloads in the week ended Dec. 29, 2018, sliding 21.0% from the previous week's 40,969 carloads but rising 27.7% from 25,336 carloads in the year-ago week.

Union Pacific Corp.'s coal shipment volumes this week were at 19,172 carloads, dropping 21.2% from 24,334 carloads the previous week but 1.4% above the previous year's weekly volume of 18,900.

Eastern railroad CSX Transportation Inc.'s shipment volumes of coal stood at 10,648 carloads, falling 39.4% from the previous week's 17,563 carloads and falling 10.2% compared to 11,858 carloads the same week in the previous year.

Norfolk Southern Corp.'s coal shipment volumes totaled 13,868 carloads for the week, sliding 31.2% from the previous week's 20,152 carloads but jumped 20.2% compared to 11,538 carloads the same week a year ago.

Kansas City Southern's latest weekly coal shipment volume was 2,340 carloads, sliding 26.6% from 3,188 carloads the previous week. The railroad serves 10 U.S. states and Mexico.

Data collected by S&P Global Market Intelligence from railroads indicate both cars originated on their lines during the week and cars received from a connecting railroad during the same week.