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US coal train loadings drop to year-low totals in final weeks of 2015: STB

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Houston — US coal train loadings fell in December, plummeting to consecutive year-low totals in the final two weeks of the year, railroad reports show.

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Data in EP 724 filings made by the four major US railroads for the week ending January 1 show total US coal loadings fell to 79.1 trains/d, a year-low mark, during the last week of 2015.

Coal train loadings the previous week reached a volume of 84.9 trains/d, which at the time was a year-low total.

Nationwide, coal train loadings averaged 117.4 trains/d in 2015, with the highest average recorded the week ending January 30 at 139.1 trains/d.

Coal train loadings from the Powder River Basin followed the same nationwide trend, as volumes dropped to year-lows to round out the year. PRB coal trains loadings totaled 53.4 trains/d then 48.8 trains/s, respectively, during the final weeks of 2015.

PRB coal loadings averaged 69 trains/d for the year, but volumes remained below that mark for all of November and December, averaging 62.3 trains/d during that span.

Central Appalachian coal loadings averaged 10.6 trains/d the final week of 2015, down from 10.9 trains/d the week before. CAPP coal loadings averaged 17.5 trains/d for the year.

Northern Appalachian loadings increased to 7.8 trains/d from 7.1 trains/d the prior week and averaged 12.9 trains/d for the year.

Illinois Basin coal loadings averaged a year-low 5.2 trains/d the final week of 2015, down from 6.9 trains/d the week before. ILB coal loadings averaged 9.3 trains/d for the year.

Coal train loadings from the Utica Basin increased to 3.6 trains/d from 3.4 trains/d, and loadings from outside the primary basins fell to 2.1 trains/d from 2.3 trains/d the week before. Utica loadings averaged 4.6 trains/d for the year, while loadings from outside the major basins averaged 2.7 trains/d in 2015.

--Jim Levesque,
--Edited by Jason Lindquist,