WV Waterborne Coal Traffic Down
The State Journal
17 April 2014
By Jim Ross
The amount of coal moved on waterways in West Virginia was down in
the first quarter of this year, continuing a long-term trend.
That particularly holds true for coal produced in the Central
Appalachian coal fields of southern West Virginia. Numbers from
the Robert C. Byrd and Greenup locks and dams indicate trends in
the Kanawha and Big Sandy basins. Most of the coal moving through
those locks goes to power plants, and coal traffic at both dams is
down significantly from last year.
Meanwhile, as Northern Appalachian coal production holds on to
market share, waterborne coal traffic originating in the Northern
Panhandle has not suffered declines as significant as those from
the Central Appalachian fields.
All three dams on the Kanawha River showed year-to-year decreases
in the quarter. Much of the coal that moves downbound through the
locks at Marmet goes to Point Pleasant, where it is taken to power
plants on the Ohio River.
Traffic moved by rail has shown mixed results for the two major
carriers operating in West Virginia. In terms of carloads instead
of tons, CSX reported coal loadings were down 0.7 percent in the
first quarter. Norfolk Southern reported loadings were down about
13 percent in the first quarter.
Coal companies will be releasing their first-quarter reports soon
along with information on their operations.