Coal shipments by rail continue decline - Business, Government Legal News from throughout WV

Coal shipments by rail continue decline

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Coal shipments on major American railroads were down 9.3 percent through Sept. 1 compared with the same period last year, according to the Association of American Railroads.

Coal also showed a drop in August shipments, but only by 7.3 percent, according to AAR figures.

Commodity groups that saw carload gains in August 2012 compared with August 2011 included petroleum and petroleum products, up 49 percent; motor vehicles and parts, up 13 percent; and crushed stone, sand, and gravel, up 7.3 percent or 6,905 carloads.

Petroleum shipments are up in part because of crude oil production in the Bakken shale area of North Dakota, where few pipelines are available.

Commodities with carload declines in August 2012 were led by coal, followed by metallic ores, down 18.7 percent, and waste and nonferrous scrap, down 15 percent.

Intermodal container shipments were up 5.8 percent year to date.

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