Network Update for Friday, April 28, 2017
The operation generated improved overall performance this week with good fluidity reported across the network. Terminal dwell and the average number of trains held were each significantly lower versus the levels from the prior week. In the Pacific Northwest, we have experienced no major service interruptions during the past several days and continue to make progress in reducing car backlogs, relieving congestion and achieving faster velocity for trains through the region.
While the weather has also improved in the Pacific Northwest, heavy rainfall and mountain snow in northwestern Wyoming triggered multiple landslides earlier this week in the Wind River Canyon portion of our Casper Subdivision. Our main line remains out of service through the area as clearing efforts have been occasionally suspended due to safety concerns. Nearly all traffic has been re-routed around the impacted area in response to this outage.
We are monitoring the threat for severe weather today and through the weekend in multiple areas of the network. Strong thunderstorms, with the potential for high winds and large hail, are possible in parts of Oklahoma, north Texas, Arkansas and Missouri, which may cause some train delays. Flash flood watches are also in effect in many areas of the mid-Mississippi River valley with widespread heavy rain expected. In addition, winter storm warnings are currently in effect for portions of Wyoming, Colorado and northern New Mexico as this powerful storm system could deliver nearly a foot of snow to some locations, particularly along our main line south of Denver. As always, BNSF crews are prepared to quickly address any service disruptions.
Reminder: BNSF Demurrage Policy Changes – Transition Period Ends This Weekend
As we initially notified customers in January, BNSF has revised the demurrage policy related to coal unit train cars. On February 1, demurrage became applicable to trains that are held in Constructive Placement (CP) status outside of the unloading facility and visible in the BNSF Customer Dwell Management Tool (CDMT).
For the past three months, BNSF has provided a transition period for customers to adjust to these demurrage policy changes. This period ends this Sunday, April 30, and actual billing for CP time will begin on Monday, May 1. All CP charges are visible in the CDMT, and customers are encouraged to discuss any exposure they might have with the demurrage team.
CP may occur at any point in transit when a unit train(s) is held due to any cause attributable to the shipper or its agent, or the shipper or its agent is unable to accept a unit train(s) for unloading upon arrival. Below is a summary of the 2017 tariff rules applying to CP:
- Demurrage for CP will be computed from the time of constructive placement status and will remain on demurrage until the train departs its hold location. Shipper will be assessed $600 per hour (or for any fraction of an hour).
- Time accrued under CP from the point when the Shipper (or its agent) notifies BNSF that Actual Placement has become possible and BNSF determines a Constructively Placed unit train is ready for movement to origin or destination shall not exceed 24 hours.
In addition to driving efficiency improvements, billing for CP is consistent with current BNSF equipment policies governing all other commodity groups. Please refer to this list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding these changes. As always, please contact your BNSF marketing representative if you have any additional questions.
Service Expectations for the Week Ahead
As maintenance work remains in high gear throughout the network, another major bridge project is scheduled to begin Monday, May 8 on our Fallbridge Subdivision in Washington. The bridge is located near Washougal, approximately 20 miles east of Portland. The rehabilitation work on the bridge will require a 32-hour main line outage, and some trains arriving into the Vancouver area next week could be impacted. Our Transportation team will be working to advance as much loaded traffic as possible west of this location to minimize the disruption. Empty returning trains should not experience any significant impact as they are not routed through this location.
Below is a look at the key operational performance categories for the week ending April 27:
Total trains held for the week decreased by nearly 38 percent with an average 37.1 trains held versus 59.6 trains held during the prior week.
Versus the April 2016 average: up by 72.8%
Total trains on the system was unchanged versus the prior week with an average of 1,391 trains on the system.
Locomotive velocity, measured in miles per day (MPD), was 277.7, which is down by nearly one percent from the 279.3 MPD recorded the prior week.
Versus the April 2016 average: down by 6.6%
Car velocity was up by more than one percent at 216.9 MPD versus 214.4 MPD recorded the prior week.
Versus the April 2016 average: down by 6.0%
Train velocity, measured in miles per hour (MPH), was essentially unchanged versus the prior week at 19.4 MPH.
Versus the April 2016 average: down by 15.2%
Total volume was down by nearly seven percent from the prior week with 183,231 units moved in Week 16 (ending April 22) versus 196,294 units in Week 15 (ending April 15).
Terminal dwell was down by nearly four percent from the prior week at 25.4 hours.
Versus the April 2016 average: up by 12.0%
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.