Alaska Railroad anticipates lean year

Dec 02, 2012 -- 1:05pm


- FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - The Alaska Railroad is expecting a leaner year in 2013 with lower production of coal and refined fuel in the interior region. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner says the railroad is anticipating significant decreases to next year's capital budget because of reductions to its freight operations.  The railroad transports jet fuel from the Flint Hills Refinery in North Pole. It also transports coal from Usibelli Coal Mine in Healy. Flint Hills announced earlier this year that it was idling one of its two operating refinery units. The company cited "challenging economics and rising crude prices" for its decision. Also, a weakened global coal market means a drop in Usibelli's exports. The railroad says it expects a $10 million drop in revenue from those sources compared to 2011.

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