Service Update for Friday, February 6, 2015
The operation confronted a major winter weather challenge earlier this week when the Chicago area was hit with nearly two feet of snow, its fifth-largest snowstorm ever. In addition to the return of below zero temperatures for the last few days, nearly two-thirds of Chicago’s total snowfall this winter has fallen in the past couple weeks.
Given the substantial snowfall and blizzard conditions, we successfully implemented our winter action plan to minimize the weather’s impact on service. This included re-routing some trains through alternate interchange gateways, such as St. Louis and Memphis. These procedures will remain in effect into next week to ensure greater network fluidity and increased train velocity. We expect more seasonable weather with milder temperatures throughout much of the North and Central Regions this weekend and into the first half of next week. At the same time, high winds and heavy rainfall, as much as eight inches, in the Pacific Northwest down through northern California could create some service impacts in those areas.
Spring is still more than a month away, but we are already ramping up the maintenance work that’s part of our 2015 capital plan. There are now 50 capital gangs working along parts of the railroad, mostly in the Central and South Regions. This is nearly triple the number of crews from January, and we will continue to increase the number of crews working until we reach our peak maintenance period starting in late April. As major maintenance and expansion projects kick off, customers can expect to receive advance notice of potential service interruptions along key sections of the network.
Below is a look at the key operational performance categories for the week ending February 3:
Total trains held for the week increased to an average of 105.7, which is up from 76.9 the prior week and was primarily caused by the winter weather in Chicago and challenges with getting crews in position. Total trains on the system was essentially unchanged from the prior week with an average of 1,698 trains on the system.
Locomotive velocity, measured in miles per day (MPD), was 261.5 compared to 270.2 MPD the prior week. Locomotive dwell was unchanged from the prior week at 19.6 hours.
Car velocity was down nearly five percent at 202.6 MPD versus 213.1 MPD recorded the prior week.
Train velocity was also down three percent from the prior week at 17.2 miles per hour.
Total volume was a robust 198,118 units moved in Week 4 (ending January 31).
Terminal dwell increased by two percent to 25.6 hours versus 25.0 hours the prior week.
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.