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Coal Transport


Domestically, coal is moved primarily by barge and rail, although it may initially move by truck from the mine. About one billion tons per year. In many cases it is transported long distances, for one of two reasons. First, a particular type of coal may be needed far from where it is found. Examples include coal with a low sulfur content that reduces sulfur dioxide emissions, and special coal used to make steel. Second, a lot of coal is burned to make electricity in places where no coal is found locally, so it has to be brought in. In addition, some coal is exported by ship, mostly for steel making in other countries.

Trade Associations:

American Society of Naval Engineers
Association of American Railroads
for railroads.
The American Association of Port Authorities has information on many seaports, as well as the many inland ports that handle US coal traffic.
Amercian Pilots' Assoc for ship and towboat boat pilots.
Lake Carriers' Association is the trade association representing U.S. Flag vessel operators on the Great Lakes.
SNAME is The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, who build and run ships and towboats.
The Transportation Institute presents U.S. flag views on maritime policy issues.

Yahoo Sites:

Business and Economy: Transportation: Organizations
Business and Economy: Companies: Transportation
Yahoo - Maritime


The Surface Transportation Board and the Federal Railroad Administration for railroads.
The U.S. Coast Guard for barge and ship traffic.
-- Navigation Center (NAVCEN)
-- Marine Safety and Environmental Protection information.
The Federal Maritime Commission is composed of five Commissioners appointed for five year terms by the President . Not more than three members of the Commission may belong to the same political party. The President designates one of the Commissioners to serve as Chairman. The Chairman is the chief executive and administrative officer of the agency.

Government information:

Energy Information Administration (home page)
--Weekly Coal Production Report: This EIA publication, updated weekly, presents estimates of US coal production on a State by State basis as derived from data on railroad car loadings.
Bureau of Transportation Statisics
(home page)
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Waterborne Commerce Statistics Center has information on cargo through seaports and vessel statistics for the U.S.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory -- Transportation Technologies
research program.
Department of Energy -- Office of Transportation Technologies
funds research.

Trade periodicals and Publications.

Fieldston Publications publishes Coal Transportation Report, Coal Transportation Manual, Rail Business and Intermodal Business.
The McClosky Big Coal Book
-- Detailed coal specifications for both consumers and producers are listed, as well as an extensive coal trade database including contract details, tonnage exported and imported, shipping distances and price series (approx 520 pages). Published by: McCloskey Coal Information Services Ltd.

Other sources:

Railway Technical Research Institute.
International Maritime Organization (IMO) is affiliated with the United Nations.
International Union of Combined Rail-Road Transport (UIRR)
European Commission DG VII - Transport - says it "aims to improve the way in which Europe's transport system serves the economic, environmental and social aspirations of European citizens."
Maritime Matters presents the Cox Collection of ship photographs and postcards with shipping company histories and illustrations of their ships with individual histories.
Direct Links to Port and Harbor Authorities.
National Railway Historical Society - unofficial home page for the NRHS.
Multiport Ship Agencies Network Steamship Agents around the world.
WWW Virtual Library Naval Architecture & Ocean Engineering.

Sample firms:

Burlington Resources is a railroad that brings much of the coal from Wyoming, now the largest coal producing state, to the electric power plants of the Midwest.
Two major eastern coal railways are CSX Transportation, Inc. and Norfolk Southern.
Santa Fe is a major western coal hauling railroad that merged with the Union Pacific but the combination had serious train scheduling problems.
Bessemer & Lake Erie Railroad Company is a smaller, Class II railroad running from Lake Erie to Pittsburgh PA.
McKeesport Connecting Railroad is a switching line near Pittsburgh.
American Commercial Barge Line is a major barge line that serves many of the huge electric power plants located on the Ohio River and its tributaries.

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