Union Pacific Delivers Record Amounts of Coal to Nation’s Utilities

OMAHA, Neb. — During the annual meeting and general conference of the National Coal Transportation Association (NCTA) this week in Denver, Union Pacific credited operational improvements for moving a monthly record of 17.2 million tons of coal — 1,118 trainloads — from Wyoming’s Southern Powder River Basin (SPRB) in August.

“According to reports from the U.S. Department of Energy Information Administration, coal stockpiles are at the highest level in four years, up 38 percent over last year’s levels,” said Doug Glass, vice president and general manager – energy. “We are pleased with the progress and contributions we have made to help restore coal stockpiles to normal.”

In addition to Union Pacific’s strong capital investment of $3.2 billion, the company is also utilizing innovative operational advancements:

A new Combilift multi-purpose forklift enables employees to change out steel railroad wheels while the rail car remains in the train, reducing the repair-to-back-in-service time from days to a matter of minutes.

Union Pacific is extending automated, dispatcher-controlled signaling technology called Centralized Traffic Control across its coal corridor on the east-west mainline from eastern Nebraska through Iowa.

Leveraged new engineering advances including a new process for replacing bolts and clips on concrete ties and a new undercutter process to quickly repair mud spots affecting track stability.

Auto racing pit-crew principles to help employees in North Platte, Neb., more efficiently refuel, inspect and maintain trains moving through Bailey Yard.

At Union Pacific’s Bailey Yard — the world’s largest railroad classification yard — workers typically handle 70 to 80 run-through coal trains a day.

“On average, we see more than 150 trains pass through Bailey Yard each day; at least half of which are coal trains serving our nation’s utilities,” said Cameron Scott, general superintendent-transportation services in North Platte, Neb. “Maintaining North Platte’s fluidity is critical to coal operations and the entire rail network.”

— Business Wire