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Western Railroad Discussion > Nebraska coal routes?


Date: 02/11/19 14:32
Nebraska coal routes?
Author: hraudsepp

Hello! I was referred to this site by a railroad enthusiast with my question. We live along the Highway 2 BNSF coal route in Nebraska in the Sandhills, and there have been rumblings that BNSF may be changing its coal route into Wyoming away from the Sandhills. Is there any truth to this? 



Date: 02/11/19 15:45
Re: Nebraska coal routes?
Author: timz

What would they use instead?



Date: 02/11/19 15:54
Re: Nebraska coal routes?
Author: goneon66

the only other possible route for e/b coal to get from the powder river area to lincoln would be a bridgeport-sterling-mccook routing...........

66 



Date: 02/11/19 19:23
Re: Nebraska coal routes?
Author: march_hare

Over the long term you will probably see a decline in coal traffic but it’s not likely to be because or rerouting to another BNSF line. There simply isn’t another logical routing on BNSF for most of the trains headed for power plants in the southeast and midwest. 

Rerouting could take place if BNSF loses some contracts to its competitor, Union Pacific. But only some of the power plants have the option of choosing another carrier.  Many are pretty much stuck with their current arrangements. 

The decline is throughout the coal industry, due largely to the availability of cheap natural gas (and to a lesser degree, renewables). Coal is almost exclusively used by power plants, many of which have either been rebuilt to use gas or have simply closed. Wyoming coal has resisted this trend because the mines there are incredibly efficient at producing coal and because unit trains are such an efficient way of moving it. But the trend is very clearly downward, over the long term.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/12/19 06:38 by march_hare.



Date: 02/11/19 20:29
Re: Nebraska coal routes?
Author: toledopatch

march_hare Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Over the long term you will probably see a decline
> in coal traffic but it’s not likely to be
> because or rerouting to another BNSF line. There
> simply isn’t another logical routing on BNSF for
> most of the trains headed for power plants in
> Texas and nearby states. 

I thought BNSF's coal to Texas ran south through Denver and Amarillo as it is, unless it's going very far east in Texas.
 



Date: 02/11/19 20:47
Re: Nebraska coal routes?
Author: czephyr17

toledopatch Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

>
> I thought BNSF's coal to Texas ran south through
> Denver and Amarillo as it is, unless it's going
> very far east in Texas.
>  

Correct, Texas coal does not go through the Sandhills on the Ravenna Sub.  Coal to midwestern and southeastern power plants travel on the Alliance - Lincoln route.



Date: 02/12/19 06:30
Re: Nebraska coal routes?
Author: march_hare

Duh, meant to use Texas as the regions boundary, (ie anything N and E of Texas), not as a target. Badly worded on my part. As a former Denver resident, I really do know better. 



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