Service Update for Friday, September 18, 2015
The operation generated steady performance this week with good fluidity across the network. Reduced terminal dwell, fewer trains on the system and minimal delays due to maintenance work contributed to a more than 20 percent drop in total trains held, and the lowest weekly level recorded this year. Weekly volume moved fell under the 200,000 level for the first time in eight weeks as the volume reporting period included the Labor Day holiday.
Strong storms with heavy rainfall impacted the Twin Cities to Chicago corridor yesterday, which caused some delays along our busy Aurora Subdivision. More than three inches of rain fell in some locations and temporary speed restrictions were implemented as crews addressed several flooded sections of track. Flash flood watches are currently in effect through Saturday morning for the Chicago area as well as around Kansas City and much of northwestern Missouri. As we move into next week, and our last days of summer, most of the network will experience very favorable operating conditions with no significant service disruptions due to weather expected.
Last week, we provided an update on Positive Train Control (PTC), a safety system that federal law requires be implemented on freight rail lines that carry certain dangerous commodities and on passenger rail lines by the end of this year. BNSF and all other Class I railroads have advised Congressional leadership and the U.S. Department of Transportation that this deadline will not be met and that an extension is necessary. While we continue to express our serious concerns regarding this deadline, our installation and reliability testing of PTC remains ongoing. The technology is complex and some issues, including a high number of unnecessary braking events, have recently occurred. Those braking events, which were on 18% of train trips, have prompted us to conduct additional testing on several subdivisions to ensure that the components are working as intended and the operation remains fluid. As this testing occurs, we will continue constructing the necessary communication towers and converting locomotives as part of implementing the new system.
Below is a look at the key operational performance categories for the week ending September 15:
Total trains held for the week decreased by 20.5 percent to an average of 43.1 versus 54.3 recorded the prior week.
Versus the same week last year: down by 81.2%
Versus the same week in 2013: down by 60.9%
Total trains on the system was down by nearly four percent from the prior week with an average of 1,514 trains on the system.
Locomotive velocity, measured in miles per day (MPD), was 278.8, which is down by nearly two percent from the prior week’s 284.3 MPD.
Locomotive dwell increased by more than 13 percent from the prior week at 19.6 hours.
Car velocity was essentially unchanged at 221.4 MPD versus 222.4 MPD recorded the prior week.
Versus the same week last year: up by 19.3%
Versus the same week in 2013: up by 7.1%
Train velocity was up by nearly two percent from the prior week at 19.2 miles per hour.
Versus the same week last year: up by 29.7%
Versus the same week in 2013: up by 11.6%
Total volume was down by nearly nine percent from last week with Labor Day included in this reporting period. We moved 191,974 units moved in Week 36 (ending September 12).
Terminal dwell was down by 2.5 percent from the prior week at 23.8 hours.
Versus the same week last year: down by 13.8%
Versus the same week in 2013: down by 3.3%
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.