Network Update for Friday, July 29, 2016
The operation continues to generate and sustain solid performance with good fluidity across the network. Velocity for cars, trains and locomotives held steady with levels from the previous week, and each remains approximately 10 percent better than the averages from a year ago. Total trains on the system increased to more than 1,400, the highest weekly level of the year to date. As overall volume levels have edged higher, BNSF has pulled more than 450 locomotives out of storage and back into service over the past two months.
BNSF crews responded yesterday afternoon to the need for critical repairs to a key bridge along our Northern Corridor near Sandpoint, Idaho. With the bridge forced out of service, we quickly implemented procedures, including the re-routing of several trains, to minimize service disruption as much as possible. The bridge re-opened to traffic early this morning, however, temporary speed restrictions are in place as crews conduct additional inspections to ensure safety. As a result, customers may experience some delays on shipments moving through this area through the weekend.
As we have reported, maintenance activity is currently in full swing across the network. While this work continues, our capital gangs are also making great progress in completing several notable expansion projects that are part of this year's capital plan. On Monday, we moved the first train across the new Pecos River bridge near Ft. Sumner, New Mexico. The nearly $35 million project, which included construction of the bridge and three miles of new second main line track adjacent to the existing main line bridge, provides significant additional capacity and recoverability benefits by double-tracking this formerly single-tracked location on our Southern Transcon. In the North Region, crews remain active in eastern Montana and North Dakota on projects that will extend four sidings and fully install Centralized Traffic Control (CTC) across three subdivisions. When finished later this summer, the siding extensions and additional CTC will support increased train volume and help generate improved schedule performance.
New San Antonio Rail Yard Opens
BNSF began full operations on June 27 from the new Cadet Yard near San Antonio, Texas. The yard, named in honor of those who serve at nearby Lackland Air Force Base and located 10 miles southwest of San Antonio, has 10 classification tracks, a departure track, a siding and has enough capacity to hold 350 railcars. Before Cadet Yard was operational, BNSF traffic from Mexico entering the U.S. through Eagle Pass, Texas was routed to our classification yard in Temple, Texas for switching and reclassification before it moved further north or back south to the Gulf Coast. The new capabilities offered by the Cadet Yard will relieve switching congestion at Temple and provide customers with more efficient access to more destinations as well as reduced transit times for freight coming out of Mexico and south Texas.
Service Expectations for the Week Ahead
We are monitoring the return of triple-digit heat to parts of the southern Plains and Texas by the start of next week. Otherwise, with fairly normal early August conditions expected for much of the network, no significant service interruptions due to weather are expected.
Below is a look at the key operational performance categories for the week ending July 28:
Total trains held for the week decreased by nearly four percent to an average of 40.7 trains held versus 42.3 trains during the prior week.
Versus the July 2015 average: better by 50.8%
Total trains on the system was up by more than one percent with an average of 1,410 trains on the system versus 1,394 trains during the prior week.
Locomotive velocity, measured in miles per day (MPD), was 297.4, which is up by one percent from the 294.5 MPD recorded the prior week.
Versus the July 2015 average: better by 7.9%
Car velocity was up by less than one percent at 229.9 MPD versus 228.9 MPD recorded the prior week.
Versus the July 2015 average: better by 8.2%
Train velocity, measured in miles per hour (MPH), was essentially unchanged from the prior week at 19.9 MPH.
Versus the June 2015 average: better by 11.1%
Total volume was up by more than one percent with 195,758 units moved in Week 29 (ending July 23) versus 193,648 units in Week 28 (ending July 16).
Terminal dwell was essentially unchanged at 24.0 hours versus 23.9 hours recorded the prior week.
Versus the July 2015 average: better by 2.0%
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.