If it’s the sound of a train horn or the rumbling of coal cars moving along the BNSF Railway line, there’s a reason for that.
Recently, there have been fewer coal trains running through the Brainerd area because of customers’ scheduled facility maintenance, said Amy McBeth, BNSF spokeswoman.
McBeth said across the railroad industry in 2012, “coal volumes were lower due to decreased demand resulting from low natural gas prices and milder weather.”
But in Brainerd’s route in particular, McBeth said the scheduled maintenance was involved.
“The number of coal trains should increase to more typical levels in the coming week,” McBeth said.
Rail traffic fluctuates along with the economy and business segments.
“We have an average of about 10 trains total now in a 24-hour period on that route,” McBeth stated, adding that number has been pretty consistent during the last few years.
The railway manages its train counts on a six-month average, so the total count on a particular day may be up or down from the average.
In 2011, the train route averaged eight trains in 24 hours, BNSF reported. In 2010, the route had a reported average of 10 trains in a 24-hour period.