Norfolk Southern grants rights for coal train moves to IPL plant

Norfolk Southern Railway, under a written trackage rights agreement, has agreed to grant overhead temporary trackage rights to Indiana Southern Railroad LLC (ISSR) to allow better staging of coal trains, said the U.S. Surface Transportation Board in a March 23 Federal Register notice.

The trackage rights are over Norfolk Southern’s line between Oakland City Junction, Ind. (milepost 0.8 EJ) and Enosville, Ind. (milepost 4.8 EJ), a distance of about 4 miles. The transaction may be consummated on or after April 8. The temporary trackage rights are scheduled to expire on Dec. 31.

The purpose of the temporary trackage rights is to bridge loaded and empty coal trains between trackage at the Log Creek coal mine at Enosville and ISRR’s tracks at Oakland City Junction for further movement over ISRR’s line to Indianapolis Power and Light’s power plant at Petersburg, Ind., said the board.

In it March 9 petition to the STB, the ISRR said that the owner of the Log Creek mine, Triad Mining, had asked ISRR to start operating under these temporary trackage rights as soon as possible. Triad Mining is a unit of James River Coal (NASDAQ:JRCC).

The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration database lists both a Log Creek loadout and Log Creek surface mine under Triad Mining. The surface mine produced 792,196 tons in 2011 and 677,374 tons in 2010.

“The Triad complex is located in Pike and Knox counties in southern Indiana,” said the March 1 annual Form 10-K report of James River Coal. “We use room and pillar mining to mine the Springfield seam of coal, and use the surface mine  method to mine multiple seams, including the Danville, Millersburg, Hymera, Bucktown and Springfield seams. Coal is processed at one of five preparation plants (four of which are active) and loaded into trucks for delivery to the customer or by rail at our Switz City loadout.”

Indianapolis Power and Light, which is a unit of AES Corp. (NYSE:AES), said in a March 13 fuel case filing at the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission that it has coal contracts with Peabody Energy (NYSE:BTU) Triad Mining, Sunrise Coal LLC, Prosperity Mine LLC and The Lily Group Inc. It didn’t give details about those contracts.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.