BNSF NetworkUpdates
Back Customer Notifications Home

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

Network Update for Friday, August 26, 2016

Operational Performance
The operation generated steady performance this week with good fluidity across the network. Overall car, train and locomotive velocity continues to exceed the average levels reported from the previous August. The number of trains held was significantly reduced from the prior week's level as the network quickly recovered following last week's wildfire-caused service interruption in southern California.

As we reported, the large Blue Cut wildfire in the Cajon Pass forced the temporary shutdown on August 16th of our Cajon Subdivision, which runs between San Bernardino and Barstow, California. On a typical day, more than 80 BNSF trains may run through this busy segment of our Southern Transcon. Thanks to the quick response from our crews to protect BNSF bridges and other critical infrastructure, as well as through effective coordination with fire officials, we were able to restore service within 36 hours on two of our three main lines through this area. We also re-routed or detoured several trains to minimize this disruption as much as possible. The fire is now 100% contained and no longer poses a threat to BNSF operations in the area.

BNSF maintenance crews remain very active across the network, particularly in Montana and in portions of Washington. Several trains experienced delays on our Seattle Subdivision on Tuesday due to Centralized Traffic Control (CTC) installation work and testing. As part of our 2016 capital plan, more than 360 miles of CTC is expected to be added to the network this year, supplementing the nearly 1,200 miles already installed since 2013.

Service Expectations for the Week Ahead
Strong winds are expected in the Pacific Northwest this weekend, which will increase the risk for additional wildfires in the area. We are also monitoring tropical storm development in the Caribbean that may impact portions of the Gulf Coast late next week. Otherwise, most areas of the network will experience fairly normal late August conditions with no significant service interruptions due to weather expected.

Below is a look at the key operational performance categories for the week ending August 25:

Total trains held for the week decreased by 18 percent to an average of 60.7 trains held versus 74.0 trains during the prior week.

Versus the August 2015 average: better by 1.1%

Total trains on the system was essentially unchanged with an average of 1,479 trains on the system versus 1,473 trains during the prior week.

Locomotive velocity, measured in miles per day (MPD), was 294.3, which is up by nearly two percent from the 288.8 MPD recorded the prior week.

Versus the August 2015 average: better by 4.8%

Car velocity was essentially unchanged at 221.1 MPD versus 221.9 MPD recorded the prior week.

Versus the August 2015 average: better by 1.9%

Train velocity, measured in miles per hour (MPH), was essentially unchanged from the prior week at 18.8 MPH.

Versus the August 2015 average: better by 1.5%

Total volume was down by nearly three percent with 193,526 units moved in Week 33 (ending August 20) versus 199,163 units in Week 32 (ending August 13).

Terminal dwell increased by nearly two percent at 24.9 hours versus 24.5 hours recorded the prior week.

Versus the August 2015 average: up by 0.6%

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.

If you have any questions, please send an email to