Network Update for Friday, October 13, 2017
The operation generated relatively steady performance this week. The number of total trains held increased by approximately eight trains versus the prior week primarily due to scheduled maintenance and expansion work windows along key portions of our Northern Corridor. Average velocity for cars and trains were each down slightly compared to the previous week and remain several percentage points below previous October levels. Total volume moved by the railroad remains strong and reached its highest weekly level of the year to date.
As we have reported, significant capital expansion work is taking place on key sections of our Northern Corridor in Washington and Idaho. BNSF crews completed the installation of approximately eight miles of new double-track on our Kootenai River Subdivision between Rathdrum and Ramsey, Idaho this week. Some trains experienced delays due to a 16-hour work window that began on Monday for track re-alignment and signal cutover. While the work continues on several other capital projects, peak maintenance activity on the network is also winding down which will support improved fluidity and velocity.
With some locations across the inland Pacific Northwest and the Rockies already receiving measurable snow, the full onset of winter weather will arrive soon. Each of BNSF’s operating divisions has a Winter Action Plan that is reviewed annually to ensure that resources and procedures are in place based on that division’s unique operating conditions. Our winter preparations include training employees to work safely in extreme cold temperatures, positioning snow removal equipment and supplies, including emergency generators, and activating Mechanical and Engineering Rapid Responders who are solely devoted to resolving service interruptions. We also utilize Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to send high resolution videos and pictures to our inspectors following extreme weather conditions. This technology helps crews safely monitor and respond to developments happening on the ground. BNSF will enter this 2017-18 winter season ready and prepared to move your freight reliably and as efficiently as possible to its destination.
Increased market demand as well as seasonal volume surges have impacted some of our intermodal facilities in Southern California and Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas. Earlier this summer, BNSF completed a capital expansion project at our Los Angeles intermodal facility, and we are currently expanding capabilities at our San Bernardino intermodal facility in order to provide additional capacity for our customers. In August, we added a full production track at our Los Angeles Intermodal Facility along with associated lift equipment. We plan to add another production track in 2018, with further expansion projects planned for 2019 and beyond. Expansion work at our San Bernardino intermodal facility is currently underway with anticipated completion set for the first week in December.
We have also been working to extend production tracks, support tracks and add parking at our Alliance Intermodal Facility this year. Production track extensions and additional parking are estimated to go into service the first week of November. Additional support track is estimated to go into service the first week of December.
Working together to reduce the amount of time that your container/trailer dwells at a BNSF facility will improve overall traffic flow and lift capabilities to support growth. BNSF offers multiple ways to track shipments. Click here for more information on the tools available to customers to track shipments.
Service Expectations for the Week Ahead
With high winds and dry conditions expected, parts of California will remain at high risk for wildfire activity. BNSF continues to closely monitor this ongoing situation and is working with other rail carriers to address any disruptions, including the re-routing of some trains. Most areas of the BNSF network will experience favorable operating conditions during the upcoming week.
Below is a look at the key operational performance categories for the week ending October 12:
Total trains held for the week increased by more than 13 percent with an average 65.7 trains held versus 58.0 trains held during the prior week.
Versus the October 2016 average: up by 4.8%
Total trains on the system increased by nearly three percent versus the prior week with an average of 1,522 trains on the system.
Locomotive velocity, measured in miles per day (MPD), was 280.7, which is essentially unchanged from the 281.1 MPD recorded the prior week.
Versus the October 2016 average: down by 7.3%
Car velocity was down by more than one percent at 220.8 MPD versus 223.7 MPD recorded the prior week.
Versus the October 2016 average: down by 4.5%
Train velocity, measured in miles per hour (MPH), was down by nearly three percent versus the prior week at 18.3 MPH.
Versus the October 2016 average: down by 4.5%
Total volume was essentially unchanged from the prior week with 208,724 units moved in Week 40 (ending October 7) versus 208,261 units in Week 39 (ending September 30).
Terminal dwell was essentially unchanged versus the prior week at 25.2 hours.
Versus the October 2016 average: up by 2.6%
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.