THE UNCERTAIN FUTURE FOR ELECTRIC UTILITY UNIT TRAIN COAL MOVEMENTS

This paper examines the future for electric utility unit train coal movements from economic, regulatory, engineering and traffic growth aspects. The principal factors, governing future prospects, are considered from electric utility and, to a lesser extent, railroad industry and national viewpoints. While the paper generally presents information related to costs, regulations, transportation alternatives and growth prospects for coal movements in the United States, much of the material included is applicable to electric utility coal transportation in other countries. It is anticipated that electric utility coal use will increase from 1978's 480 million tons to from 1400 to 1900 million tons by the year 2000. However, the portion of that tonnage that will be moved by unit trains as compared to other transportation alternatives is uncertain. Since 1976, several notable changes with respect to costs and regulatory rules associated with unit train coal movements have occurred. If the trend of these changes continues, there will be significant alterations in the long range economic relationship between the coal transportation alternatives -- unit train, truck, water, slurry pipelines, high voltage transmission -- for utility coal movements from conditions prevailing in the late 1960's and 1970's. These changes in economic relationships may cause significant shifts in future coal movements from rail unit trains to other coal transportation alternatives.

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References;
  • Pagination: p. 13-19

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00316276
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: IEEE 80CH1567-7 IA Tech Paper
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 16 1980 12:00AM