9 June 2006 -- Norfolk Southern Corp. handled a record 17.0 million tons of total coal, coke and iron ore in May 2006, an increase of 7.9 percent when compared with May 2005 and 1.7 percent over the previous monthly record set in August of last year. NS also set a new record in May for total coal volume, which reached 16.5 million tons, up 8.7 percent compared with May of last year. This monthly record exceeded the previous record, set in August of 2005, by 1.8 percent.
Year to date, NS has handled 79.6 million tons of total coal, coke and iron ore, an increase of 3.7 percent over last year. The total volume includes 77.7 million tons of coal, which exceeds 2005 volume by 4.6 percent.
The major contributing factor to the increase in volume was strong demand for coal moving to utilities, which continue to experience increased demand for electricity generation and to rebuild their stockpiles. Additional growth also came from strong domestic metallurgical coal demand.
The utility industry is the largest market served by the NS' Coal Business Group. In fact, a record 13.4 million tons were delivered to utilities in May, an increase of 15.5 percent when compared with May 2005. In May 2006, utility tons represented 81% of total coal shipped by NS. Year-to-date, NS has moved 62 million tons of coal to the utility market, 7.6 percent more than the same period 2005. NS has experienced seven consecutive quarters of year- over-year growth in utility volume.