Responding to Extreme Winter Weather Challenges in the Midwest
BNSF is experiencing harsh operating conditions across the northern Plains and upper Midwest, which is negatively impacting service performance in some areas. Our operating crews are confronting below zero air temperatures along with wind chills of 30 below zero in locations stretching from western North Dakota through the Chicago area. Each of our affected operating divisions has implemented their respective Winter Action Plan to ensure that our workforce is able to work safely in these conditions and that we can continue to keep trains moving as efficiently as possible.
This extreme cold creates challenges for our trains' braking systems because of reduced air flow. In response, train length restrictions have been implemented in this region. Some trains have also experienced delays due to this difficult operating environment.
In addition to the frigid conditions lingering into next week, with even colder temperatures expected mid-week, another strong winter storm is poised to bring as much as a foot of snow to the Chicago area Sunday night into Monday. As part of our preparations, BNSF will activate a 24/7 command center Sunday evening to manage any service issues. We have also deployed additional personnel and resources, including snow removal equipment, in advance of this storm.
With this upcoming storm and colder temperatures next week, we may experience reduced production levels at our Chicago area facilities. Customers may also experience additional challenges with driver availability and slower turn times. We encourage customers that have received a notification that their shipment(s) is ready to make the necessary arrangements for pick up this weekend. Prompt pick-up will also help improve traffic flows and reduce congestion at these facilities.
If you have any questions regarding your shipment(s), please contact BNSF Customer Support at 1-888-428-2673.
We will provide customers with further updates on any major service interruptions.