Service Update for Friday, February 5, 2016
The operation continues to generate steady performance with strong overall velocity even as a powerful winter storm impacted portions of the network earlier this week. High winds associated with the storm caused some train delays in Arizona last weekend followed by blizzard conditions on Tuesday that affected normal operations in parts of the Upper Midwest. Our crews implemented Winter Action Plans in several locations due to heavy snow and extremely low visibility, particularly around the Sioux City, Iowa area, to minimize service disruption as much as possible.
2016 BNSF Capital Plan: PTC
Last October, federal legislation signed by President Obama granted railroads additional time for the installation and testing of Positive Train Control (PTC) on their networks, with a limited two-year extension beyond 2018 if necessary. Last week, as required by law, BNSF and the other affected railroads notified federal regulators of our respective implementation plans, with BNSF reporting that the company expects to have a fully operable PTC system in place by the end of 2018. BNSF's 2016 $4.3 billion capital plan includes more than $300 million for the continued implementation of PTC. In addition to installing PTC hardware components on various subdivisions this year, our engineering crews remain focused on addressing technical issues that have become apparent during testing of the system. We will continue to work aggressively in resolving these challenges as we progress toward full implementation.
Service Expectations for the Week Ahead
Another storm system will bring heavy rain and high winds to coastal areas of Washington and Oregon later today. After receiving more than five inches of rain in western Washington during the past two weeks, additional mudslides along several subdivisions are possible. As this system rapidly moves east, high wind watches are in effect for much of Montana and western North Dakota on Saturday. An extended period of favorable dry weather, with Spring-like temperatures in much of the West, will then take hold for the upcoming week across most of the network.
Below is a look at the key operational performance categories for the week ending February 2:
Total trains held for the week was up 2.3 percent to an average of 37.7 versus 36.9 trains held the prior week.
Versus the January 2015 average: better by 56.6%
Total trains on the system was essentially unchanged from the prior week with an average of 1,260 trains on the system versus 1,261 during the prior week.
Locomotive velocity, measured in miles per day (MPD), was 295.2, an improvement from 294.0 MPD recorded during the prior week.
Versus the January 2015 average: better by 11.8%
Car velocity slowed by one percent at 226.4 MPD versus 228.8 MPD recorded the prior week.
Versus the January 2015 average: better by 10.4%
Train velocity improved by nearly one percent from the prior week at 21.8 miles per hour.
Versus the January 2015 average: better by 26.7%
Total volume was higher by more than three percent from the prior week with 190,531 units moved in Week 4 (ending January 30).
Terminal dwell was 25.0 hours, up from 24.7 hours or 1.2 percent higher compared to the prior week.
Versus the January 2015 average: better by 1.6%
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.