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Network Update for Friday, February 15, 2019
We also experienced service challenges earlier this week in our Chicago Division due to widespread commercial power outages that affected switches and switch heaters in multiple locations. In Missouri, ice dam flooding along portions of the Mississippi River forced a half-mile portion of our Hannibal Subdivision just south of Iowa/Missouri border out of service last Saturday afternoon. This short video highlights the extent of the flooding and water flow over our main line in this location.
Nearly all trains designated to move through this location during the track outage were re-routed. With receding water levels as well as efforts made by our engineering teams working with the Army Corps of Engineers, the main track was restored to service Tuesday evening.
Other areas of the network, while not directly experiencing the extreme weather, have also been impacted due to interconnected systems and resource imbalances resulting from harsh operating conditions elsewhere. We appreciate your patience as we respond aggressively to disruptions. As always, BNSF crews and equipment are working around the clock to restore service as quickly as possible. Additional resources have also been re-deployed to help improve train flows through these affected areas.
2019 Capital Plan
BNSF announced our 2019 capital investment plan earlier this week. The focus of the $3.57 billion plan is on continuing to operate a safe railroad that meets customers’ demands. The largest component of the plan, approximately $2.47 billion, will be to replace and maintain BNSF’s core network and related assets. This year’s maintenance program will include approximately 12,000 miles of track surfacing and/or undercutting work and the replacement 535 miles of rail and nearly 2.3 million rail ties.
Approximately $760 million of this year’s capital plan has been allocated for expansion and efficiency projects. We will provide further details on many of the line capacity projects in subsequent updates throughout the year.
Service Expectations for the Week Ahead
Winter weather will remain active across the western U.S. during the week ahead with multiple storm events expected. BNSF teams continue to monitor conditions throughout the network and will respond as aggressively as possible to any service interruptions.
Below is a look at the key operational performance categories for the week ending February 14:
Total trains held for the week decreased by nearly three percent with an average of 152.6 trains held versus 156.6 trains held during the prior week.
Total trains on the system was up by nearly two percent versus the prior week with an average of 1,504 trains on the system.
Car velocity, measured in miles per day (MPD), was down by more than four percent at 180.2 MPD versus 188.0 MPD recorded the prior week.
Train velocity, measured in miles per hour (MPH), was down by nearly two percent versus the prior week at 15.7 MPH.
Total volume increased by more than one percent from the prior week with 190,494 units moved in Week 6 (ending February 9) versus 188,294 units in Week 5 (ending February 2).
Terminal dwell increased by nearly six percent versus the prior week at 29.7 hours.
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.