Network Update for Friday, November 18, 2016
The operation experienced steady performance this week with good fluidity across the network. Overall velocity for cars, trains and locomotives all remain at or near their highest levels of the year, and each continues to exceed their average levels from November 2015. After reaching a year-to-date high of 204,416 units for the week ending November 5, total weekly volume again exceeded the strong 200,000 unit level last week.
Along those portions of the Northern Corridor that have experienced isolated service challenges in recent weeks, we continue to generate velocity and efficiency improvements. While significant progress has been made, there were disruptions to normal train flows this week. Track and rail tie damage caused by a broken railcar wheel late Wednesday night has slowed service on a busy portion of our Spokane Subdivision near Sandpoint, Idaho. BNSF crews continue to inspect and make repairs in this location, and we have implemented procedures to minimize disruption as much as possible.
The first major winter storm of the season is impacting the upper Midwest today with winter storm and blizzard warnings currently in effect for eastern South Dakota and most of Minnesota. We have snow removal equipment positioned and crews are ready to address these severe weather conditions. In addition, below freezing temperatures have accompanied the storm’s passage in many areas along the Northern Corridor. After an extended period of unseasonable warmth, the Twin Cities area will finally experience its first freeze going into the weekend.
Get the Latest Ag News in John Miller's Podcast
In this week's audio podcast (hyperlink to be included), BNSF Group Vice President of Agricultural Products John Miller provides a network update and talks about the strong, steady movement of soybeans we’re experiencing across the north due to a robust Chinese soybean buying program. He also covers ethanol shipments and their strong movement to both export and domestic destinations.
Thanksgiving Day, November 24, is a shuttle holiday. However, throughout the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday weekend, BNSF will continue to operate carload and local terminal train service according to normal schedules, with yard support sized to reflect specific customer holiday requirements. For more specific information regarding the Thanksgiving Day operating plan, additional service details are available here.
Service Expectations for the Week Ahead
No significant winter weather is expected for the upcoming week at this time, however, an unsettled pattern will remain in place across much of the network. More rain is likely for the Pacific Northwest, which could trigger additional landslides. Most other areas of the network should experience generally favorable operating conditions during the next several days.
Below is a look at the key operational performance categories for the week ending November 17:
Total trains held for the week was down by more than six percent with an average 48.4 trains held versus 51.6 trains held during the prior week.
Versus the November 2015 average: down by 10.3%
Total trains on the system was down by more than one percent with an average of 1,450 trains on the system versus 1,467 trains during the prior week.
Locomotive velocity, measured in miles per day (MPD), was 306.6, which is essentially unchanged from the 306.4 MPD recorded the prior week.
Versus the November 2015 average: up by 6.3%
Car velocity was essentially unchanged at 234.0 MPD versus 233.0 MPD recorded the prior week.
Versus the November 2015 average: up by 1.6%
Train velocity, measured in miles per hour (MPH), was up by nearly two percent from the prior week at 20.0 MPH.
Versus the November 2015 average: up by 0.4%
Total volume was down by more than two percent with 200,191 units moved in Week 45 (ending November 12) versus 204,416 units in Week 44 (ending November 5).
Terminal dwell was down by nearly two percent from the prior week at 24.2 hours.
Versus the November 2015 average: down by 2.3%
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.