Service Update for Friday, March 18, 2016
The operation performed well during the week generating good performance and fluidity despite isolated events during the week that caused service interruptions. Train velocity improved slightly for the week while velocity for cars and locomotives declined one percent and 1.6 percent, respectively, versus the previous week. The average of total trains held increased by less than two trains and was nearly 30 percent better than the average for the month of March last year.
On Sunday, rockslides blocked Union Pacific track where BNSF operates near Keddie, California, which is approximately 140 miles Northeast of Sacramento, California. The main tracks there were returned to service on Thursday, March 17.
On Monday, the main tracks on the Union Pacific's Lafayette Subdivision, over which BNSF operates between Beaumont, TX and Lake Charles, LA, were washed out due to severe flooding in the area. We have been advised that the estimated time of opening for the main track is March 24. BNSF is employing detour routes over other carriers but traffic in this corridor will still experience delays until the subdivision can be reopened.
2016 Capital Investments: South Region
As we have reported, the largest component of this year's capital investment plan is earmarked toward maintenance on our 32,500 route mile network. Like the North and Central, the scheduled program in the South Region involves replacing and upgrading rail, rail ties and ballast, as well as upgrading signals for Positive Train Control (PTC) in many locations.
Our work will also include several capital projects that will expand capacity and provide more service options in some constrained areas. In California, we will begin a multi-year project to add additional track for loading and unloading containers and more parking at our Stockton Intermodal Facility. In New Mexico, our work continues on a new bridge and secondary track to cross the Pecos River on the busy Southern Transcon. In Texas, we will open our new Cadet Yard west of San Antonio in April to handle additional manifest train traffic. The yard will feature 10 classification tracks that will enable BNSF to provide rail service to multiple industrial parks in the San Antonio area. We will provide further updates regarding the key projects highlighted above as well as others taking place throughout the network in subsequent updates.
Service Expectations for the Week Ahead
An area of rain and thunderstorms will expand along the Gulf coast of the United States into Saturday prolonging flooding in some locations and becoming severe in others. The pace of storm development along a stalled front in the region will determine the northern extent and intensity of the rain across parts of Texas to Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.
Locally severe thunderstorms developed along the Gulf coast on Thursday before weakening to an area of drenching rain during Thursday night. Severe thunderstorms are expected to redevelop this afternoon and continue into Friday evening across the same areas.
Next week, our weekly service updated will be issued on Thursday, March 24 due to the Good Friday holiday.
Below is a look at the key operational performance categories for the week ending March 15:
Total trains held for the week increased nearly four and a half percent from the prior week with an average of 37.6 trains held.
Versus the March 2015 average: better by 63%
Total trains on the system was down by slightly more than two percent from the prior week with an average of 1,217 trains on the system versus 1,245 during the prior week.
Locomotive velocity, measured in miles per day (MPD), was 295.2, which is down less than two percent from the 300.0 MPD recorded during the prior week.
Versus the March 2015 average: better by 8.0%
Car velocity decreased by one percent at 225.4 MPD versus 227.7 MPD recorded the prior week.
Versus the March 2015 average: better by 6.3%
Train velocity was slightly improved from the prior week at 22.1 miles per hour.
Versus the March 2015 average: better by 29.2%
Total volume was lower by nearly two percent from the prior week with 173,240 units moved in Week 10 (ending March 12).
Terminal dwell was higher by less than two percent from the prior week at 25.0 hours.
Versus the March 2015 average: higher by 0.8%
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.