Back Customer Notifications Home

Customer Notifications inform BNSF customers of the latest news covering BNSF services, tools, prices and facilities.
To: BNSF Customers

Service Update for Friday, July 11

Subdivisions Update
Weather predictions for the Midwest indicate minimal precipitation across the majority of the Upper Mississippi and Missouri River Basins with forecasted precipitation generally across the Missouri and Mississippi River Basin expected to be normal.

If the weather forecasts hold true for the region, we expect both the Hannibal and Ottumwa subdivisions to be back in service by July 17th. Bringing those two subdivisions back online will ease congestions on the alternate routes used during their outage.

Key Service Metrics
Despite the impact of localized flooding along the Mississippi River, the overall network performance experienced areas of good improvements.

  • For the week ending July 8, overall on-time performance increased 13 percentage points compared to the prior week and is 35 percentage points better than our baseline week in early February.
  • System velocity, which is defined as miles per day (MPD), slowed to 173.5 MPD for the week ending July 8 compared to 177.5 the prior week, but is still nearly two percent better that our baseline week in early February when we were at 170.8 MPD.
  • For the week ending July 8, our trains holding average, which is an average for the week of trains waiting due to congestion or a critical resource, is down 7 percent when compared to the previous week, and down 26 percent since the week ending February 7. This good result is in spite of the added demands of flood-related reroutes.
  • Terminal dwell for the week ending July 8 was roughly flat compared to the prior week but is nearly 12 percent better than our baseline week in early February.

Tower 55 Construction Update and Potential Service Impacts
Construction work at one of the most vital intersections of our national rail network is expected to enter a phase that will create windows of out-of-service time periodically in August.

Tower 55, as it is known, is located in Fort Worth, Texas and provides connectivity for freight and passenger travel between the West Coast, Midwest, Gulf Coast, Southeast, Canada and Mexico. Nearly 100 trains move through the intersection daily - most of which is traffic from other railroads. Those trains typically carry high priority intermodal (truck trailers or containers on railcars) goods moving across the nation, agricultural products destined for Gulf Coast ports, industrial and manufactured goods reaching throughout North America, low-sulfur coal bound for power plants in Texas, and passengers aboard Amtrak's Heartland Flyer and Texas Eagle service. BNSF Railway, Union Pacific Railroad, and city and regional governments have developed plans to alleviate congestion and improve flow at Tower 55.

The overall Tower 55 construction schedule continues to be on time. However, it will be necessary for BNSF to implement a reroute plan beginning the first week of August despite a majority of the traffic that intersects at Tower 55 coming from other railroads.

Customers with freight that moves through Texas can expect delays from 24 - 48 hours due to work zones and rerouting of traffic. For BNSF customers, your salesperson will be reaching out to you in the coming weeks to discuss any impacts to your traffic.

The first outage will begin on August 10 with a 24-hour out-of-service window that will be followed by 12-hour out-of-service windows between Aug. 14 and 26. We thank you for your patience as we complete this significant capital project.

As always, thank you for your business and for the opportunity to serve as your transportation service provider.

If you have any questions, please send an email to