Network Update for Friday, January 6, 2017
The operation generated improved performance this week even as BNSF crews continue to address service challenges along our Northern Corridor due to severe winter weather. Overall car, train and locomotive velocity, total trains held as well as terminal dwell averages were all significantly better versus the previous week while underperforming versus the levels reported from the previous January. While we have activated robust winter action plans across several BNSF operating divisions in response to heavy snow and extreme cold, where temperatures have dropped to more than 20 below zero in some locations, impassable roads affecting crew transportation and reduced air flow requiring that some trains are equipped with distributed power have caused an elevated number of trains holding and delays in recent weeks.
On Christmas Day, a blizzard impacted eastern Montana and the Dakotas where more than foot of snow fell in some locations. Our Mobridge Subdivision along the North Dakota-South Dakota border, which runs between Hettinger, N.D. and Aberdeen, S.D., remains out of service as we continue to clear snowdrifts as high as eight feet from our main line in several locations. This short video provides additional perspective on the work our dedicated crews perform in extreme conditions to keep trains moving and their efforts to reopen this subdivision.
We also experienced a derailment last night involving a coal train on our Thayer North Subdivision near Norwood, Missouri, approximately 30 miles south of Springfield. BNSF crews quickly completed all necessary track work and service was restored earlier this afternoon. BNSF will continue to provide updates to all impacted customers regarding this incident.
BNSF to Operate Clovis-Carlsbad Rail Line Beginning January 17
As we reported last summer, BNSF and Southwestern Railroad (SWRR) reached an agreement for BNSF to resume direct service along the Carlsbad Subdivision, which runs between Clovis and Carlsbad, N.M. Beginning January 17, BNSF train crews will again operate trains on the subdivision, and our Engineering crews will take over maintenance of the track and related infrastructure. The Carlsbad Subdivision spans more than 220 miles and includes both the Carlsbad Industrial Spur and the Loving Industrial Spur. We have been working closely with SWRR to ensure a smooth transition, and we look forward to providing best-in-class service as well as strengthening our relationships with customers in southeast New Mexico.
Service Expectations for the Week Ahead
The active weather pattern will continue to generate some unfavorable operating conditions in parts of the network, with Arctic temperatures remaining in place across many locations in Montana and the Dakotas. We are monitoring conditions in Memphis and other locations in the southeastern portions of the BNSF network today with significant amounts of snow and/or ice likely today, while major rain and mountain snow is expected in the Pacific Northwest down through northern California this weekend and into the upcoming week. Other areas of the network should experience generally favorable operating conditions during the upcoming week with no significant service interruptions due to weather expected.
Below is a look at the key operational performance categories for the week ending January 5:
Total trains held for the week decreased by nearly 55 percent with an average 79.6 trains held versus 175.0 trains held during the prior week.
Versus the January 2016 average: up by 136.1%
Total trains on the system was down by nearly one percent with an average of 1,274 trains on the system versus 1,281 trains during the prior week.
Locomotive velocity, measured in miles per day (MPD), was 278.3, which is up by seven percent from the 260.2 MPD recorded the prior week.
Versus the January 2016 average: down by 2.8%
Car velocity increased by 10 percent at 212.4 MPD versus 193.0 MPD recorded the prior week.
Versus the January 2016 average: down by 7.1%
Train velocity, measured in miles per hour (MPH), was up by nearly 10 percent from the prior week at 19.2 MPH.
Versus the January 2016 average: down by 13.4%
Total volume was down by more than 12 percent from the prior week, due primarily to the Christmas holiday, with 162,497 units moved in Week 52 (ending December 31) versus 185,096 units in Week 51 (ending December 24).
Terminal dwell was down by nine percent from the prior week at 27.6 hours.
Versus the January 2016 average: up by 12.1%
As always, we thank you for your business and appreciate the opportunity to serve as your transportation service provider. We welcome your feedback and questions.