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To: BNSF Customers

Service Update for Thursday, May 22

Successful Fertilizer Campaign
This week we fulfilled, and actually exceeded, the commitment we made to our agriculture customers on the delivery of fertilizer for the spring planting season. Getting crops planted with the proper nutrients is always an important time for our agriculture customers and this season was particularly important given the challenges we had with our network earlier in the year.

Thanks to continued focus by our people all across the BNSF system, our Ag and Service Delivery teams were able to fulfill our commitment of 52 train loads in six weeks, a week ahead of schedule. In fact, we loaded 54 trains – two more than our original commitment – and did so ahead of schedule. At 80 cars per train, and nearly 100 tons per car, we are delivering almost 8,000 tons of fertilizer per train.

We are also making steady progress on moving last year’s crop ahead of the harvest this year. This week now marks five consecutive weeks of agriculture product volumes over 16,000 units moved, which has not occurred since November 2012.

Continued Network Performance Improvement
Over the last four weeks we've moved over 200,000 units per week on behalf of all our customers. This is now the highest four-week volume total since mid-November 2013 just prior to the Thanksgiving holiday season.

Our service indicators continue trending in a positive direction as we continue to focus on over-resourcing the railroad. To date, we have added 300 new train and engine employees in our Northern Tier region, deploying additional locomotives, temporarily reassigning field supervisors from across the system to assist in restoring velocity, and incorporating improved processes around customer response for severe issues. These steps have been key to putting us on a path to recovery.

We also continue to execute against our 2014 capital expenditure program with investments in the quality and integrity of our track structure. All of our engineering teams have been fully deployed and we have 57 work gangs spread across our railroad.

Below are some key indicators of our progress:

  • For the week ending May 20, overall on-time performance remained steady this week and is 25 points higher than our baseline week in early February.
  • System velocity, which is defined as miles per day (MPD), was down just slightly to 180.8 MPD for the week ending May 20 from 185.2 MPD in the prior week, but is still nearly 6 percent better that our baseline week in early February.
  • For the week ending May 20, our trains holding average for the past seven days, which is an average for the week of trains waiting due to congestion or a critical resource, is up nearly 10 percent when compared to the previous week, but is still down more than 36 percent since the week ending February 7.
    As always, we welcome your feedback and questions regarding the efforts we are taking to improve service. Thank you for your business and your trust and for choosing BNSF as your transportation service provider.

    If you have any questions, please send an email to