A recently set sun provides for a glowing backdrop as this eastbound coal load passes by a snow-covered fence and field just west of Leyden. Coal trains are slowly losing ground on the Moffat as the demand for coal decreases. On the North Fork Branch, Bowie Mine has reduced production and Somerset Mine has completely shutdown. Bowie Mine recently lost its coal contract with TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority). On the Craig Branch, the mine at Energy produces roughly one loaded train per day. Energy is the supplier of coal for the Valmont Power Plant in Boulder and the Cherokee Power Plant in northeast Denver. Both of these plants will have switched to natural gas by the end of 2017. Those changes will probably eliminate 8-10 coal trains per week (loads and empties) from the Moffat.
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