Coal Trains of the Powder River Basin

Coal Trains of the Powder River Basin
Coal Trains of the Powder River Basin
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The Powder River Basin lies between Wyoming’s Bighorn Mountains and the Black Hills of South Dakota. Thirteen active mines produce over 400 million tons of low-sulfur coal each year and it is up to the BNSF Railway and Union Pacific to transport it from the mines to customers throughout the United States and various ports for export.
 
Over 100 miles of coal hoppers roll through the Powder River Basin each day. The majority of traffic can be found along the Orin Subdivision between Donkey Creek Junction and Shawnee Junction, making this the highest tonnage mainline in the world. This joint line serves several Powder River Basin mines including the Caballo, Belle Ayr, Cordero Rojo mines, Coal Creek, Black Thunder mines, North Antelope Rochelle and the Antelope mines.
 
We begin at Donkey Creek Junction and follow the Orin Sub south to Shawnee Junction where joint trackage ends. Between those two points, a steady parade of long, heavy coal trains traverse the triple track main. Get ready for 117 miles of coal as 7idea Productions presents: “Coal Trains of the Powder River Basin”

 
1 hour 52 minutes
WIDESCREEN DVD
NTSC No Region Code
1080i Hi-Definition Blu-ray
May be viewed with or without narration. 

 

Frame grabs:

A three-way BNSF coal train meet unfolds on the 1% grade near Thunder Junction West.
A three-way BNSF coal train meet unfolds on the 1% grade near Thunder Junction West.

A three-way UP coal train meet takes place at Converse Junction near the Antelope Mine.
A three-way UP coal train meet takes place at Converse Junction near the Antelope Mine.

A huge drag line working at the North Antelope Rochelle Mine dwarfs a set of BNSF helpers at Nacco Junction.
A huge drag line working at the North Antelope Rochelle Mine dwarfs a set of BNSF helpers at Nacco Junction.

After making a crew-change, an eastbound UP ducks under a signal bridge south of Bill.
After making a crew-change, an eastbound UP ducks under a signal bridge south of Bill.

With the silos for Black Thunder Mine's West Loadout facility in the background, an eastbound UP coal train climbs a grade near Reno Junction.
With the silos for Black Thunder Mine's West Loadout facility in the background, an eastbound UP coal train climbs a grade near Reno Junction.

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