The United States has the largest coal reserves in the world. The abundant supply of coal has made it a reliable and economical fuel source for steam-generated electricity.
Lignite is available from BNSF-served surface mines in North Dakota. This lignite field is part of the Great Plains coal area. Heat values of the deposits in this area range from 6,500 to 7,000 BTU/lb. The lignite is primarily burned by local power plants, but can be used by any properly designed stokers, coal-fired units and cyclone furnaces.
The Powder River Basin (PRB) of Wyoming and Montana is the largest low sulfur coal source in the nation. Eight of the ten largest mines in the United States are located in the PRB.
BNSF Railway has access to Utah coal mines through Utah Railway, a connecting carrier. Mines are accessed by Utah Railway through two loadout facilities, Wildcat and Savage Coal Terminal. Utah Railway interchanges coal trains with BNSF at Provo, Utah (westbound) and Grand Junction, Colorado (eastbound).
BNSF serves two mines in northwest New Mexico — El Sugundo and Lee Ranch. The high-quality coal deposits are characterized by high BTU, low-sulfur, low ash, and low moisture content.
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