CSX Chesapeake Coal Terminal

From Global Energy Monitor

CSX Chesapeake Bay Coal Terminal, is a coal export terminal located at the Port of Baltimore in Curtis Bay, Maryland, United States.

The terminal is owned by the rail-based transportation company CSX Corporation, and is also known as the Curtis Bay Coal Piers and Bayside Coal Terminal.


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The terminal has an annual throughput capacity of 14 million short tons of coal (approximately 12.7 million metric tonnes). Coal is primarily transported from northern Appalachia, as well as Central and Southern Appalachia, the Illinois Basin, and the Colorado and Powder River Basins. As of 2021, the CSX Terminal has an annual coal capacity of 14 million short tons following a five-year, $60 million upgrade effort by CSX to increase capacity and efficiency. The following details some major capital improvements made as part of the terminal upgrade:[1]

  • Installing long tracks that act as sidings between the yard and pier to avoid having to break trains into several cuts of cars for moving and dumping.
  • Adding indexing car positioners to dumpers #2 and #3, which automatically advance the rail cars and place them on the dumper freeing up the line of road locomotives for moving empty trains back to the coal fields.
  • Re-decking the B&O pier so machinery works more efficiently, and as a bonus, catches rainwater for use in the dust suppression environmental systems.
  • Adding the third radius track from dumper #1 to the bottom yard which eliminates any conflict between cars existing dumper #1 and #2 at the same time.

The CSX terminal, along with the CNX Marine Terminal also at Baltimore Port, handled a combined 13.8 million short tons of coal in 2010. China received 25% of the coal, while the rest went to South Korea and the Netherlands.[2] In 2016, the CSX terminal handled just under 9 million short tons of coal.[3]

Communities in Curtis Bay have reported coal dust flying off the trains, contributing to air pollution and reports of respiratory problems. The Curtis Bay zip code ranks among the worst in the state and the country for respiratory risk caused by concentrations of toxic air pollutants.[4]

Project Details

  • Owner: CSX Corporation
  • Location: Curtis Bay, Maryland
  • Capacity (Million metric tonnes per annum): 12.7
  • Status: Operating
  • Type: Exports
  • Coal source: Northern, Central, and Southern Appalachia; Illinois Basin; Colorado Basin; Powder River Basin

Articles and Resources


  1. "Curtis Bay Coal Piers in Baltimore, Md.," CSX, accessed August 2021.
  2. "Port of Baltimore sets record for coal, salt in 2010," Scott Dance, Baltimore Business Journal, November 7, 2011.
  3. Colin Campbell, Baltimore coal terminals seeing rebound in U.S. exports, Baltimore Sun, Sep. 28, 2017
  4. "The Costs of Coal Exports," EarthJustice, 2014.

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