Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

US coal moving through Roberts Bank

with one comment


UP train of empty coal hoppers goes back home

Originally uploaded by Stephen Rees

In recent weeks there have been a number of coal trains unloading export coal at Roberts Bank. Most have come from the BNSF but today I caught the first Union Pacific train just as it was leaving Deltaport Way.

It did come as something of a surprise, that US coal shippers would use Vancouver, especially since our dollar is roughly the same as the US dollar. Presumably a longer train haul must be worth less than an extra day or so sailing. This tends to contradict what I had always understood about bulk traffic which was the general principle of getting it to tidewater by the shortest route possible, but maybe the terms of trade are different.

Anyway I was wrong. Vancouver has won some traffic that would previously have moved through US west coast ports – it’s coal not containers and it moves by train – but the point is conceded.

Written by Stephen Rees

June 8, 2008 at 10:43 pm

Posted in Transportation

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One Response

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  1. While coal may be increasingly moving by freight rail through Vancouver, lumber isn’t. Check out this article: http://www.progressiverailroading.com/news/article.asp?id=16919

    Graeme

    June 11, 2008 at 6:12 pm


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