Network Update for Friday, October 21, 2016
The operation generated steady overall performance this week with improved velocity across the network. Average car, train and locomotive velocity were each slightly higher versus the prior week. Year-to-date, average train velocity, inclusive of all train types, remains more than 14% better than 2015. Total weekly volume moved by the railroad was strong and very close to the robust 200,000 unit level.
While operational performance has improved in several categories this year, BNSF has experienced isolated service challenges on a portion of our Northern Corridor running roughly from Havre, Montana to Spokane, Washington over the past couple weeks. The service challenges are the result of a combination of events, including weather-related service interruptions caused by heavy rains and an early snowfall as well as seasonal demand for freight seeking to move westbound to the Pacific Northwest. As a result, we have recently reported an elevated number of trains holding and some delays to traffic through this area.
Our BNSF Operations team has implemented a plan to remedy this situation, and service is improving on a near daily basis. We continue to utilize alternative train re-routing options to alleviate congestion and minimize disruption as much as possible. We have also temporarily deployed an additional 60 Train, Yard, and Engine (TYE) employees to the area to further assist with freight operations and help ensure that we deliver on our service commitments.
BNSF has invested significant capital across our network, including across the North Region over the past few years, and we will continue to invest in future growth. Even with these investments, however, significant events will periodically occur that will disrupt the operation. When that happens, BNSF is committed to keeping customers informed about the situation and will be relentless in our efforts to quickly resolve the temporary service issues.
Service Expectations for the Week Ahead
Most of the BNSF network will experience favorable operating conditions during the next several days with no significant service interruptions due to weather expected.
Below is a look at the key operational performance categories for the week ending October 20:
Total trains held for the week increased by more than eight percent with 76.1 trains held versus 70.4 trains held during the prior week.
Versus the October 2015 average: up by 33.1%
Total trains on the system was down by one percent to an average of 1,446 trains on the system versus 1,461 trains during the prior week.
Locomotive velocity, measured in miles per day (MPD), was 299.5, which is up by one percent from the 296.5 MPD recorded the prior week.
Versus the October 2015 average: up by 2.6%
Car velocity was up by nearly two percent at 228.4 MPD versus 224.6 MPD recorded the prior week.
Versus the October 2015 average: down by 1.5%
Train velocity, measured in miles per hour (MPH), was up by more than two percent from the prior week at 19.1 MPH.
Versus the October 2015 average: up by 0.3%
Total volume was up by nearly two percent with 199,649 units moved in Week 41 (ending October 15) versus 196,402 units in Week 40 (ending October 8).
Terminal dwell was up by more than one percent from the prior week at 24.7 hours.
Versus the October 2015 average: up by 1.6%