Coal Mines Complain About Shoddy Rail Service

Add coal shippers to the list of disgruntled railroad shippers.

The National Mining Association has written to the U.S. Surface Transportation Board to complain about erratic rail service being provided by CSX and Norfolk Southern.

The letter said some mines have curtailed production due to poor rail service that’s only getting worse even as demand for coal rises.

“While mines are running full speed ahead, the same cannot be said for rail, and our members desperately need relief,” the group said in the letter, which said empty coal hoppers are arriving hours or days late.

In some instances, mining companies have used third parties to handle the switching and loading of coal trains on their property.

The letter was based on results of a survey sent to the trade association’s members.

For their part, the two Class 1 railroads cited crew shortages that they said they are working to address.

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