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To: BNSF Intermodal Customers

Chicago Area Rail Operations Updated

The effects of consecutive severe weather disruptions continue to impact BNSF operations across the Midwest, in particular Chicago. Current conditions remain at sub-zero temperatures (-35 degree wind chill overnight). The most recent period of extreme cold temperatures has slowed the return to normal operations, presenting elevated risk factors for personnel and interfering with equipment operations.

Actions that we have taken in response to these challenges include but are not limited to:

  • Adding significant personnel, both BNSF and contracted, to remove snow, clean switches, and assist with restoring terminal and hub fluidity.
  • Staffing and operating a Chicago-based command center, around the clock, to streamline communication and coordination with the network operations center. This center is also coordinating activities with other rail carriers in the Chicago area.
  • Redistributing intermodal traffic between all BNSF’s Chicago terminals (Corwith, Cicero, Willow Springs and LPC) based on demand and capacity.
  • On-going coordination of rail interchanges between BNSF and eastern carriers. Deliveries are still hampered by weather and overall interchange volume remains elevated. However, expect all gateways to continue uninterrupted.
While weather is expected to improve in the coming days, the operational impact and associated traffic delays will extend into the coming weeks.

We recognize the severe impact that current conditions are having on our customers and we are committed to restoring service levels as quickly as possible.

We will provide you weekly updates until normal operations are fully restored. If you have questions, please contact BNSF Customer Support at 1-888-428-2673 (select option 4, then option 3).

If you have any questions, please send an email to