Network Update for Friday, May 20, 2016
The operation continues to generate and sustain solid performance as we move through May. After recording our highest average car velocity of the year to date last week, overall velocity for cars, trains and locomotives all remain very close to the peak levels recorded thus far in 2016. We experienced good fluidity across the network with favorable operating conditions in most locations throughout the past week.
The average of total trains held increased slightly this week as we confronted service disruptions due to several incidents as well as from ongoing track maintenance activity. More than three dozen trains experienced delays following the May 10 derailment of a manifest train on our St. Joseph Subdivision in Missouri, approximately 25 miles northwest of Kansas City. There were no injuries and hazardous materials were not involved. In response to this incident, we implemented procedures to re-route as much traffic as possible. Main line service was restored within 24 hours and train flows quickly normalized through the area.
While it often creates service challenges, maintenance work is critical to ensuring the safety of our rail network. Our capital maintenance activity is in full production across the network as more than 60 “capital gangs” are working on dozens of projects, including rail replacement, new rail tie installation, track undercutting and bridge construction. This map highlights where significant maintenance activity will take place during the next few weeks, particularly in parts of Oklahoma, Texas and Washington. As the work progresses, we will continue to implement procedures, such as the re-routing of some traffic, to minimize any train delays.
Get the Latest Ag News in John Miller's Podcast
In this week's audio podcast, BNSF Group Vice President of Agricultural Products John Miller provides an update on the network as well as the latest news regarding the wheat and corn harvests. He also shares information regarding monthly ethanol export figures as well as the top destination for ethanol exports from the U.S.
Service Expectations for the Week Ahead
The active weather pattern will remain in place for the central and southern Plains into the upcoming week with an ongoing threat for more rain and severe storms. We will continue to monitor conditions closely and advise customers of any significant service interruptions. High winds expected across the desert Southwest during the early part of the upcoming week may cause some minor delays along the Southern Transcon.
Regarding the upcoming holiday weekend, BNSF trains and local terminal train service will run according to normal schedules on Memorial Day (Monday, May 30), however, delays may occur on interline traffic if connecting carriers have reduced operations.
Below is a look at the key operational performance categories for the week ending May 17:
Total trains held for the week increased by nearly two percent to an average of 23.7 trains held versus 23.3 trains during the prior week.
Versus the May 2015 average: better by 70.6%
Total trains on the system was down by nearly one percent with an average of 1,188 trains on the system versus 1,196 trains during the prior week.
Locomotive velocity, measured in miles per day (MPD), was 303.9, which is essentially unchanged from the 304.8 MPD recorded the prior week.
Versus the May 2015 average: better by 11.1%
Car velocity was down by nearly one percent at 233.3 MPD versus 234.7 MPD recorded the prior week.
Versus the May 2015 average: better by 8.2%
Train velocity, measured in miles per hour (MPH), was unchanged versus the prior week at 22.6 MPH.
Versus the May 2015 average: better by 25.6%
Total volume was essentially unchanged with 176,294 units moved in Week 19 (ending May 14) versus 175,956 units in Week 18 (ending May 7).
Terminal dwell was down by nearly one percent at 22.1 hours versus 22.3 hours recorded the prior week.
Versus the May 2015 average: better by 8.7%
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.