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Rail News: Union Pacific Railroad

UP loads 200,000th southern PRB coal train since 1984

On Tuesday, Union Pacific Railroad moved its 200,000th loaded coal train out of the southern Powder River Basin (SPRB) since UP and the former Chicago & North Western completed a 107-mile line to the region in 1984. The Class I loaded the train for Entergy — the same customer involved in the first loaded SPRB train in August 1984.

The 200,000 trains have carried enough coal to power all the homes in the United States for five years, according to the railroad.

“Hitting the 200,000th train mark during what will be our 25th anniversary of the line proves the capital investment in our coal corridor continues to pay dividends for our customers,” said Doug Glass, UP’s vice president and general manager-energy, in a prepared statement.

Those capital investments include a third mainline between North Platte and Gibbon, Neb., that was completed in 1999; a second mainline between Gibbon and Marysville, Kan., that was completed in 2000; a second mainline between South Morrill and North Platte, Neb., that was completed in 2003; and the Marysville, Kan., bypass that opened in 2006.

“SPRB coal volume has increased 11 percent annually since 1984,” said Glass. “While demand for coal is off this year due to the recession, lower demand for metallurgical coal and reduced industrial output, we expect continued growth of this cost-effective, low sulfur coal for many years to come.”

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More News from 5/21/2009