Update on Railroad Conditions and Our Service
I’m writing to update you on the conditions on our railroad and the state of our service to you.
As you probably know, BNSF has faced unprecedented weather challenges since late last year. From record snowfall in the northern part of our network last winter to record runoff from the Missouri and Souris rivers causing extraordinary flooding, BNSF has experienced natural disasters that have affected our facilities, track, equipment and people. In the most significant incident, one of our busiest corridors along the Missouri River, the St. Joseph Subdivision, was completely severed by the widespread flooding. During this time, our service has not met your expectations or our high standards.
In response to these challenges, BNSF team members and contractors have worked around the clock to lessen the impact of these floods on your service. We have rerouted as many as 40 percent of our trains and temporarily relocated up to nearly 500 train crew employees to handle rerouted traffic. We have undertaken extensive preventive and rebuilding efforts, including raising miles of track by amounts of up to eight feet, building levees and berms to protect the rail and repairing and replacing hundreds of miles of damaged track, bridges and structures. In spite of these actions, we are currently still rerouting approximately 20% of all shipments.
BNSF expects to spend over $300 million to restore and harden our network. On the St. Joseph Subdivision, we are expanding our network of bridges while the area is still flooded and expect the bridge work to be completed by September 8.
BNSF values our relationship with you and your company. The feedback you provide us through our surveys and your BNSF representative helps us identify areas for improvement. During our most recent surveys, one of the key areas you’ve indicated we can make improvements in is service.
We are committed to meeting your expectations and we are working hard to restore our network and your service to best in class as soon as possible. We expect you will begin to see significant network performance improvement upon the reopening of the St. Joseph Subdivision in September. We anticipate having all trains returned to their normal routes by October.
We will continue to update you as we make progress. If you have any questions, please contact your Marketing representative. Thank you for your business and your feedback.
John P. Lanigan
Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer