(Platts, August 23) – Continued volume gains in the West have pushed US coal carload counts to a new year-high mark in each of the last four weeks.Continued volume gains in the West have pushed US coal carload counts to a new year-high mark in each of the last four weeks.
For the week ended August 19 the AAR reported 97,873 coal carloads traveled US railways, up 3.5% from the previous week and up 9.4% from the year-ago week. Volumes have topped 92,000 carloads in each of the last four weeks.
The latest count bests the 2016 high of 94,751 carloads.
Nationwide coal volumes have now increased in six straight weeks. Counts year to date are up 14.8%, or about 356,000 carloads, compared with the first 33 weeks of 2016.Powder River Basin shippers BNSF (42,663 carloads) and Union Pacific (26,164 carloads) each reported year-high coal volumes for the second straight week.
Canadian railroads — which include the US operations of Canadian National, which serves several mines in the Illinois Basin, and Canadian Pacific — saw originations increase to 8,026 coal carloads, up 12.8% from the previous week and up 12.8% from the same week last year.
Canadian coal volumes are up 4.9% year to date.