Video: Western Coal Part 1, Washington, Idaho, Montana and northern Wyoming

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Wyoming coal mines produced nearly 350 million tons of coal in 2000 and the railroads put on a spectacular show as they moved this tonnage to power plants around the country. The Western Coal video series examines operations from the mines to the power plants. Western Coal Part 1 looks at coal trains moving out of northern Wyoming and Montana to power plants in Washington, Oregon, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

Coal train bound for Washington

This video has more than just long heavy coal trains. We follow a manifest train across southeastern Montana on the former Northern Pacific mainline as it meets a series of eastbound coal trains. We also show the variety of methods for unloading coal. On a screen graphics identify trains by symbol (the Burlington Northern Santa Fe system for train identification) and lists the number of loads, empties, and total tonnage.

The majority of this video was filmed during 2000 in Washington, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. However, there is some footage from 1992 along with footage from several coal mining and power companies.

45 minutes, in color, live audio, and narration