Network Update for Friday, July 21, 2017
The operation generated improved velocity this week with good fluidity reported across the network. Car, train and locomotive velocity averages were each higher compared to the previous week. While still above the average from the previous July, the number of total trains held decreased by several percentage points versus the prior week.
Some trains experienced delays yesterday along our Aurora Subdivision, which runs between La Crosse, Wisconsin and Aurora, Illinois, as heavy rain caused multiple washouts during the early morning hours. Both main tracks were taken out of service for several hours as BNSF crews assessed track conditions and conducted inspections. Trains were moving again on one main track by midday with full service restored through the corridor by early evening.
To align resources with growing volumes, we have returned additional locomotives to service from our surge fleet and called back furloughed workers across our network where additional resources are needed. We have also implemented hiring plans in key strategic locations where we have not been able to fill positions with furloughed employees. While maintenance activity has also impacted operational performance through areas where major project work is ongoing, we are seeing improvement in the average number of trains holding and believe we should see continued momentum in the weeks ahead.
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 includes a network update and talks about the Pacific Northwest elevators return from their summer maintenance. Additionally, he covers that a second round of Direct Domestic Efficiency Train, or DET, Certificates of Transportation for southern shippers was offered this past week. You will also hear his final farewell as the Group Vice President of Agricultural Products as he moves on to be the BNSF Group Vice President of Industrial Products, which was recently announced.
Service Expectations for the Week Ahead
Flood watches and warnings remain in effect for parts of southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois, which includes our Aurora and St. Croix Subdivisions, as more heavy rain is possible into the first half of the weekend in already saturated locations. BNSF crews are monitoring conditions closely and will respond aggressively to any washouts.
Below is a look at the key operational performance categories for the week ending July 20:
Total trains held for the week decreased by nearly nine percent with an average 52.9 trains held versus 58.0 trains held during the prior week.
Versus the July 2016 average: up by 11.0%
Total trains on the system was up by nearly one percent versus the prior week with an average of 1,424 trains on the system.
Locomotive velocity, measured in miles per day (MPD), was 279.1, which is up by nearly one percent from the 277.7 MPD recorded the prior week.
Versus the July 2016 average: down by 6.6%
Car velocity was up by nearly two percent at 219.2 MPD versus 215.4 MPD recorded the prior week.
Versus the July 2016 average: down by 4.7%
Train velocity, measured in miles per hour (MPH), was up by more than one percent versus the prior week at 19.1 MPH.
Versus the June 2016 average: down by 4.4%
Total volume was up by more than 13 percent from the prior week with 198,435 units moved in Week 28 (ending July 15) versus 175,356 units in Week 27 (ending July 8), which included the Independence Day holiday.
Terminal dwell was essentially unchanged from the prior week at 25.2 hours.
Versus the July 2016 average: up by 5.0%
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.