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Weekly US coal train loadings rise to seven-week high: STB

Highlights

Central Appalachia loadings jump to six-month high

Cumulative average US loadings fall 27.4% on year

Houston — US coal train loadings rose to a seven-week high in the week ended Oct. 9, as loadings from all four major basins increased on the week, Surface Transportation Board data showed Oct. 16.

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Data filed to the STB by the four major Class I railroads — CSX, Union Pacific, BNSF, and Norfolk Southern — show US loadings averaged 73.4 trains/day, up 4.8% from 70 trains/d in the prior week but 21.6% lower than the 93.6 trains/d averaged in the year-ago week.

The 73.4 trains/d was the second-highest weekly average in the last seven months, only lower than 73.7 trains/d in the week ended Aug. 21.

It was the first time in eight weeks and only the fourth time this year that all four basins saw weekly increases.

Since Jan. 1, total loadings have averaged 67.6 trains/d, down 27.4% from 93.2 trains/d averaged in the same period a year ago.

Average PRB loadings rose to 40.8 trains/d in the latest week, up from 40.7 trains/d in the prior week, but down from 49.8 trains/d in the year-ago week.

Cumulative PRB loadings this year are at 39 trains/d, down from 50.7 trains/d averaged in the same period a year ago.

Illinois Basin loadings increased to 5.5 trains/d, from 4.8 trains/d a week earlier, but down from 6.5 trains/d averaged in the year-ago week.

Since January 1, Illinois Basin loadings have averaged 4.1 trains/d, down from 6.8 trains/d a year ago.

Central Appalachia loadings were at a six-month-high 13.5 trains/d, up 12 trains/d a week earlier, but lower than 17.1 trains/d in the year-ago week. It was the most since 14.4 trains/d in the week ended March 27.

Loadings from the CAPP region in 2020 have averaged 11.5 trains/d, down from 16.4 trains/d averaged a year ago.

Loadings in Northern Appalachia rose to 8.5 trains/d, up from 6.9 trains/d a week ago, but lower than 12.1 trains/d in the year-ago week.

Cumulative loadings in Northern Appalachia have averaged 7.5 trains/d in 2020, down from 11.9 trains/d averaged last year.

Loadings from outside of the primary basins declined to 5.1 trains/d, from 5.7 trains/d a week earlier and 8 trains/d in the year-ago week.