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To: BNSF Intermodal Customers

Q3 2016 Message from Katie Farmer

Dear BNSF Customer,

As we prepare for the holiday shipping season, I wanted to take this opportunity to provide an update regarding 2016 developments which are positively impacting our intermodal service. Billions of dollars have been spent on our rail infrastructure with the objective of providing superior service that meets our customers’ needs and long term growth objectives. With the opening in late July of the new Pecos River bridge and secondary main line in New Mexico, we anticipate continued improvement in our velocity and consistency. 99.8 percent of our 2,200-mile Southern Transcon route, connecting the West Coast to major intermodal markets such as Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth and Kansas City, is now double-tracked. Our network is performing extremely well and our intermodal speeds continue to be the best in the industry.

We are also prepared in the event of another tough winter. All of our operating divisions have reviewed their winter action plans to ensure that resources and procedures are in place to address extreme winter conditions. Divisional teams have enacted preparedness plans based on past experience and each division’s unique winter climate.

New PNW-Texas Service Lane

We are very excited about our new service offering for domestic intermodal customers between the Pacific Northwest and Texas that started Monday, September 12. BNSF’s new PNW to Texas service is two days faster than any other intermodal option and is comparable to single-driver, over the road trucking alternatives, with convenient southbound schedules operating five days per week. This new service will be available for domestic containers, trailers and temperature-controlled freight and is the first of several new services to be rolled out over the next year. BNSF will also offer northbound service five days per week. Detailed schedules can be accessed here.

New Process Driving Shipment Notification Improvements

In response to customer satisfaction survey results, we’ve spent the last couple of years leveraging data and modernizing our systems in order to come up with a real-time solution to notify customers about shipment availability at destination. Approximately 24-hours prior to train arrival, customers now receive an Estimated Time of Notification (ETN) that a shipment will be available. The ETN provides customers with improved arrival visibility so they can better plan their dray and shipment deliveries with confidence. We are excited with the early results that show 90 percent ETN accuracy at our Intermodal facilities. Now that our ETNs are more accurate, we have implemented a new storage policy – tied to the notification process. In the event a shipment arrives after the ETN we provide our customer, we will apply an additional 24 hours of free storage. If a shipment arrives before the ETN, the storage clock will not start until the ETN we originally provided.

RailPASS Mobile Application Driving Efficiencies at Intermodal Hubs

BNSF understands truck driver satisfaction supports greater productivity. To support the thousands of drivers we interact with, we’ve found a way to help them maximize their valuable time by introducing RailPASS, our mobile application specifically designed to make it easier for our trucking partners to move freight in and out of our facilities.

In just a few months, more than 12,600 drivers have downloaded the app and are actively using RailPASS at BNSF Intermodal hubs. RailPASS users have seen a 10 percent reduction in overall time spent in our intermodal facilities. RailPASS features include:

  • Quick Response (QR) technology to enter and exit a facility
  • Advance ability to input and view shipment details from home
  • Ability to update parking location directly through the app
  • Intermodal Facility Help Menu to reduce DAB (Driver Assistance Building) visits
  • Emergency Safety Button with a GPS pin to a driver’s location inside an Intermodal facility
We remain committed to providing the best intermodal rail service in the industry. Please know your business is important to us and we look forward to continuing to grow with you as your business grows during 2016 and beyond.

Thank you for choosing BNSF Railway as your transportation service provider.

With gratitude,

Katie Farmer
BNSF Railway
Group Vice President, Consumer Products

If you have any questions, please send an email to