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Western Railroad Discussion > More coal to Roberts Bank?


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Date: 12/12/09 12:06
More coal to Roberts Bank?
Author: upbuddyboy

I have heard rumors of there being a big, new contract for coal to be delivered to Roberts Bank, BC, in addition to the present BNSF contract. Anyone know anything about this? Thanks.



Date: 12/12/09 13:05
Re: More coal to Roberts Bank?
Author: washybryan

Yes there is a new contract from Signal Peak Mine, its a new mine north of Billings Mt.. The contract is for 15-20 million tons a year, (3-4 trains a day), this is coal exported to China.. The routing has been up the Great Falls sub., across the "highline" to Spokane down around through the Gorge then north. And if the contract for the Spring Creek coal does get extended and go to 11 million tons a year, then that would mean there would be 5-7 loaded coal trains a day going to Roberts Bank. There could be different routing for these trains in the future, and it could be surprising for alot of people.. Railfanning the PNW could be fun in the very near future!!



Date: 12/12/09 13:57
Re: More coal to Roberts Bank?
Author: goneon66

right on. more jobs for the miners and the rails.............

66



Date: 12/12/09 14:40
Re: More coal to Roberts Bank?
Author: bnsftrucker

Bailey and Argo in Seattle will be a busy place to catch them coal trains.



Date: 12/12/09 15:05
Re: More coal to Roberts Bank?
Author: MEKoch

Glad to hear they are exporting this new coal, because Obama's Environmental Protection Agency, with their new found powers this week to regulate all carbon emissions, seeks to drive all coal-fired power plants out of the USA.



Date: 12/12/09 15:38
Re: More coal to Roberts Bank?
Author: rob_l

That much traffic sounds to me like the BNSF will be very stressed Everett - Colebrook. I wonder how many years the contract is for, and what capacity improvements are planned for north of Everett. I wonder if maybe the Sumas line might get used to some extent ...

Best regards,

Rob L.

washybryan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Yes there is a new contract from Signal Peak Mine,
> its a new mine north of Billings Mt.. The contract
> is for 15-20 million tons a year, (3-4 trains a
> day), this is coal exported to China.. The routing
> has been up the Great Falls sub., across the
> "highline" to Spokane down around through the
> Gorge then north. And if the contract for the
> Spring Creek coal does get extended and go to 11
> million tons a year, then that would mean there
> would be 5-7 loaded coal trains a day going to
> Roberts Bank. There could be different routing for
> these trains in the future, and it could be
> surprising for alot of people.. Railfanning the
> PNW could be fun in the very near future!!



Date: 12/12/09 19:05
Re: More coal to Roberts Bank?
Author: SOO6617

That figure seems awfully high for an underground mine.



Date: 12/12/09 21:18
Re: More coal to Roberts Bank?
Author: jc76

How much longer does the Spring Creek contract run? And how does the future output compare with today's contract. It would be nice to see even more coal on the MRL.



Date: 12/12/09 21:25
Re: More coal to Roberts Bank?
Author: bnsftrucker

There is a new mine in MT which I can't remember it's name but the BNSF has loaded a few trains symboled C SXMRBE,IIRC I think it was a test to Roberts Bank?


jc76 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> How much longer does the Spring Creek contract
> run? And how does the future output compare with
> today's contract. It would be nice to see even
> more coal on the MRL.



Date: 12/12/09 22:09
Re: More coal to Roberts Bank?
Author: washybryan

It was test trains, 13 of them to be exact..



Date: 12/12/09 22:39
Re: More coal to Roberts Bank?
Author: bnsftrucker

All 13 to Roberts Bank?


washybryan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It was test trains, 13 of them to be exact..



Date: 12/12/09 23:01
Re: More coal to Roberts Bank?
Author: washybryan

Yep, in fact the there should only be 2 or 3 more of the test trains...



Date: 12/13/09 01:17
Re: More coal to Roberts Bank?
Author: bnsftrucker

If anything, majority of the 13 were either early morning or late night movements through Seattle, I have seen only two through Seattle during the day.



Date: 12/13/09 02:01
Re: More coal to Roberts Bank?
Author: bradleymckay

washybryan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Yep, in fact the there should only be 2 or 3 more
> of the test trains...

So I'm guessing this would put an end to the rumors that half of the coal to be exported would be from Utah mines...

And nobody has mentioned how this will effect export coal shipments on CP and CN...


AM



Date: 12/13/09 05:33
Re: More coal to Roberts Bank?
Author: Lackawanna484

SOO6617 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> That figure seems awfully high for an underground
> mine.

I thought the same thing. One press release says "3 - 4mn tonnes per year" as a target for the Signal mine. I wonder if the total export figure includes several other mines?



Date: 12/13/09 09:15
Re: More coal to Roberts Bank?
Author: washybryan

I can't say about the Utah coal, we've got one train running right now, I guess there is only going to be 7 loads total.. The Signal Peak trains are from a source that works up at Northshore on the tonnage, and there are currently 11 CP sets running and 3 CN sets. Not a whole lot of coal traffic coming in from the two Canadian railroads... So, for those that believe that the Roberts Bank facility can't take 4-7 BNSF trains a day, currently there is only two, maybe three CP trains a day coming in there to be unloaded. LOTS of space for the increase in BNSF trains.



Date: 12/13/09 13:32
Re: More coal to Roberts Bank?
Author: jackpot

rob_l Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> That much traffic sounds to me like the BNSF will
> be very stressed Everett - Colebrook. I wonder how
> many years the contract is for, and what capacity
> improvements are planned for north of Everett. I
> wonder if maybe the Sumas line might get used to
> some extent ...
>

Rob is right. There's no way on earth BNSF can handle the additional traffic. It's been a slow go to trickle the trains on through. I've not seen more than 2 of these a day moving. . .the empties have variously been moving via stevens or back down the coast.



Date: 12/13/09 15:52
Re: More coal to Roberts Bank?
Author: bnsftrucker

There are some night movements through Seattle and don't forget that there are still some strings of coal cars stored as well.



Date: 12/13/09 18:44
Re: More coal to Roberts Bank?
Author: HomerBedloe

rob_l Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> That much traffic sounds to me like the BNSF will
> be very stressed Everett - Colebrook. I wonder how
> many years the contract is for, and what capacity
> improvements are planned for north of Everett. I
> wonder if maybe the Sumas line might get used to
> some extent ...
>
> Best regards,
>
> Rob L.
>
Don't think Sumas will be utilized - grades and curves, plus how do you get them from Sumas to RB? SRY has 2.2% grades, and CN and CP have capacity issues around Thornton and Coquitlam. Coal would probably have to turn left at Matsqui (no current connection), then enter the Port Sub at Hydro to go to RB. Lots of miles under CP and CN trackage rights, and the Port Sub has capacity issues when containers are moving. So there is a logistics issue that would have to be worked out.

I also wonder how customs will handle that many trains per day if run via Blaine/White Rock. Each will have to be "inspected" (mostly for riders on a coal train) and there is already congestion around Swift because of the timeliness (or lack thereof) of customs. White Rock won't be too happy either - they already don't like the 6 daily BNSF trains and the 2 (or is it 4 now) Amtrak trains cutting off their beach.

Finally, Westshore (coal operators at RB) can only handle 27 million tonnes per year with their current equipment. They just went through an upgrade to expand to that level. If US coal takes up most/all of that capacity, then the CP traffic will have no capacity, and I have to believe Canadian commerce will have priority over US biz. Neptune on the North Shore handles coal, but they're planning expansion of the potash biz which will take up a good share of their capacity. So if this contract is real, there are going to be major issues to address.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/13/09 19:21 by Railfool03.



Date: 12/13/09 19:07
Re: More coal to Roberts Bank?
Author: bnsftrucker

The C SEURBE0 is predicted to pass Interbay around 03:23am on the 15th and there is also a U LAURBE0 that is predicted to reach Everett on the 16th around 03:43am, i'm assuming it's a coke train?



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