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Weekly US coal train loadings up 2.4% on week, down 15.2% on year: STB

Houston — US coal train loadings saw a weekly increase in the week ended November 1, due to a nine-week high in loadings from Central Appalachia, Surface Transportation Board data showed Friday.

Data filed to the STB by the four major Class I railroads -- CSX, Union Pacific, BNSF and Norfolk Southern -- show US loadings averaged 88.1 trains/day, up 2.4% from 86.1 trains/day in the prior week, but down 15.2% from 103.9 trains/day averaged in the year-ago week. The total loadings were the lowest for the corresponding week in over five years.

Since January 1, total loadings have averaged 92.7 trains/day, down from 98 trains averaged in the same period a year ago.

The Powder River Basin saw 48.5 train loadings/day averaged in the latest week, down from 49.8 trains a week earlier and 57.3 trains/day in the year-ago week.

Since January 1, Powder River Basin loadings have averaged 50.6 trains/day, down from 55.3 trains a year ago.

Central Appalachia loadings jumped to a nine-week high of 17.2 trains trains/day, up from 13.4 trains/day a week earlier but down from 17.4 trains/day averaged in the year-ago week. It was the most since 18.6 trains/day in the week ended August 30.

Loadings from the CAPP region in 2019 have averaged 16.3 trains/day, up from 16.1 trains/day averaged a year ago.

Loadings in Northern Appalachia fell to 10.2 trains/day, down from 11 trains/day a week ago and 13.2 trains/day averaged in the year-ago week.

Cumulative loadings in Northern Appalachia have averaged 11.8 trains/day in 2019, up from 11.5 trains/day averaged last year.

Average Illinois Basin loadings climbed to 5 trains/day in the latest week, up from 4.9 trains/day in the prior week, but down from 8.4 trains/day in the year-ago week.

Cumulative Illinois Basin loadings this year are at 6.6 trains/day, down from 7.9 trains/day averaged last year.

Loadings from outside of the primary basins were at 7.3 trains/day, up from 7 trains a week ago, but down from 7.6 trains in the year-ago week.

--Tyler Godwin, tyler.godwin@spglobal.com

--Edited by Debiprasad Nayak, newsdesk@spglobal.com