Network Update for Friday, April 22, 2016
The operation generated strong performance this week despite confronting some severe weather challenges, primarily in the Houston area. Overall velocity for cars, trains and locomotives remains high, with train velocity holding at its highest level of the year to date. For the sixth and seventh times in 2016, average train speed for all BNSF trains was the fastest among all Class I railroads, according to reports filed with the Association of American Railroads (AAR) or by the railroad's own public reporting (week ending April 8 and week ending April 15). After recording the lowest level of total trains held in more than two years for the week ending April 12, the weekly average remained low, increasing by less than three trains.
Monday was Houston's wettest April day ever as nearly 20 inches of rain fell in some locations in less than 24 hours. BNSF crews quickly responded to several washouts that occurred on three of the area's subdivisions. The Houston Subdivision returned to service midday Wednesday after a 36-hour outage, while service through most other affected locations was restored after a few hours. Train holding delays were minimal as impacted traffic was able to be re-routed to avoid any service disruption.
Coal Forecasting 2016
With the current market volatility in coal, BNSF is updating service plans as frequently as possible. The accuracy of these plans relies on the timely forecast information we receive from our customers. While our shipping agreements include providing a three-month rolling forecast into BNSF's coal forecasting tool, current demand expectations are changing even more rapidly, often on a daily basis. In order to adjust and allocate resources most effectively to ensure consistent service, we request that customers update their forecast information as frequently as possible. As we plan for the remainder of 2016, we appreciate your help so that we can maintain the high level of service that you expect from BNSF.
Service Expectations for the Week Ahead
After a week that featured heavy snow in Colorado and widespread flooding along the Gulf Coast, an active weather pattern affecting a large portion of the network is expected to continue into the upcoming week. With more storms possible for the Houston area later this weekend and during the middle of next week, we will continue to monitor conditions closely and implement procedures, including additional inspections and train re-routing, if necessary.
Below is a look at the key operational performance categories for the week ending April 19:
Total trains held for the week increased by nearly 15 percent to an average of 20.0 trains held versus 17.4 trains during the prior week.
Versus the April 2015 average: better by 68.7%
Total trains on the system was up by less than one percent with an average of 1,173 trains on the system versus 1,166 trains during the prior week.
Locomotive velocity, measured in miles per day (MPD), was 296.9, which is up by more than one percent from the 293.3 MPD recorded during the prior week.
Versus the April 2015 average: better by 6.1%
Car velocity was essentially unchanged at 230.8 MPD versus 229.8 MPD recorded the prior week.
Versus the April 2015 average: better by 3.8%
Train velocity was unchanged versus the prior week at 23.0 miles per hour.
Versus the April 2015 average: better by 25.7%
Total volume was higher by nearly six percent with 176,603 units moved in Week 15 (ending April 16) versus 166,912 units in Week 14 (ending April 9).
Terminal dwell was up by nearly one percent at 22.8 hours versus 22.6 hours recorded the prior week.
Versus the April 2015 average: better by 3.0%
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.