Service Update for Friday, January 8, 2016
The operation generated solid performance entering the first full week of 2016 with good fluidity across the network. Overall velocity, total trains held and terminal dwell all improved strongly following the Christmas weekend when a powerful winter storm caused significant service disruptions across large parts of the network. High winds from the storm, which moved from the Desert Southwest into the Mississippi River Valley, caused a pair of intermodal train derailments in New Mexico that affected train flows on our Southern Transcon.
This same storm was also responsible for record rainfall in Illinois and Missouri last week. The subsequent flooding caused a derailment on our Cherokee Subdivision in southwestern Missouri and forced temporary outages of three other subdivisions. In response, we quickly implemented procedures, including the re-routing of traffic, to minimize the impacts on service. Currently, only a portion of the River Subdivision between St. Genevieve and Chaffee, Missouri remains out of service. The Cuba Subdivision, which runs between St. Louis and Springfield, Missouri, returned to service yesterday following an 11-day outage. We continue to monitor Mississippi River forecast levels in several locations as some additional rain and snow is expected in the region this weekend.
The strong El Nino weather pattern, which brings higher than average rain and above average temperatures across certain parts of the BNSF network, has kept our maintenance and operations teams very active during the first month of winter, particularly in the Pacific Northwest. In addition, frigid weather has moved into the Northern Plains and upper Midwest, with single-digit temperatures expected in many locations, including Chicago, through early next week. Despite these weather challenges, average train speed for all BNSF trains remains the fastest compared to all other Class I railroads, as reported to the Association of American Railroads (AAR) or by the railroad's own public reporting, for the second consecutive week to begin the New Year.
Below is a look at the key operational performance categories for the week ending January 5:
Total trains held for the week was down by more than 65 percent to an average of 44.1 versus 126.1 trains held the prior week.
Versus the January 2015 average: better by 50.0%
Total trains on the system was down by nearly two percent from the prior week with an average of 1,122 trains on the system.
Locomotive velocity, measured in miles per day (MPD), was 266.9, which is up by nearly 19 percent from the prior week's 224.7 MPD.
Versus the January 2015 average: better by 2.1%
Car velocity was up by more than 16 percent at 224.9 MPD versus 193.3 MPD recorded the prior week.
Versus the January 2015 average: better by 8.4%
Train velocity was up by more than 21 percent from the prior week at 22.7 miles per hour.
Versus the January 2015 average: better by 29.7%
Total volume was up by nearly two percent from the prior week with 151,170 units moved in Week 52 (ending January 2).
Terminal dwell was down by more than eight percent from the prior week at 24.9 hours.
Versus the January 2015 average: better by 2.0%
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.