Coal rail shipments continue 2016 decline, but at slower pace

The amount of coal moving via rail in the United States during the week ended July 16 amounted to 84,272 carloads, which is 15.5% less than the same week one year earlier, according to data from the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

The number of coal carloads so far in 2016 is averaging 70,458 per week, down 29.7% for the first 28 weeks of 2015.

By way of comparison, U.S. coal traffic was down 31% at the 25-week mark, according to AAR’s previously-reported data.

Across North America, the coal carloads moving by rail during the week of July 16 totaled 91,493 – that’s down 15.4% from the same week in 2015. So far in 2016 rail coal traffic in North America amounts to roughly 2.17 million carloads for an average of 77,623 cars per week. That’s down 28.4% from the first 28 weeks of 2015.

The AAR released its latest weekly coal rail traffic report on July 20.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at