Service Update for Friday, January 15, 2016
The operation generated another week of strong performance with increased velocity for cars and locomotives, and velocity for trains remaining at its highest average level in the past year. For the third consecutive week, average train speed for all BNSF trains is 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. With a nearly 50 percent decrease in trains holding this week, the average of total trains held is at the lowest weekly level recorded in the past two years.
As river levels in Missouri continue to recede, all track affected by the recent flooding has been restored. Normal operations in the area resumed last Saturday when the River Subdivision returned to service following a 12-day outage. Further north, extremely cold temperatures last weekend in the Northern Plains and upper Midwest caused some delays and several service interruptions. As part of our winter response plans, additional crews were deployed to make necessary track repairs and address any frozen switches as quickly as possible. Another surge of Arctic air will impact many of these same locations again this weekend. Extremely cold temperatures can create challenges for our trains' braking systems because of reduced air flow. To compensate for that reduction, we will equip trains with distributed power which creates two sources of air flow throughout a train. This approach is also more efficient than the alternative, which is to shorten train lengths.
Despite the frigid conditions in the Twin Cities last Sunday, our engineering crews completed installation of a new track connection with the Canadian Pacific Railway in northeast Minneapolis. The additional track addresses traffic bottlenecks that have occurred just south of our Northtown rail yard and will help alleviate congestion in the metro area. This project also complements the extensive capacity improvements made on our Twin Cities to Chicago main line, including new double-track and full CTC implementation, during the past several months.
With the beginning of a new year, BNSF will announce our 2016 capital investment plan in the next few weeks. The largest component of this year's plan is our maintenance program, which includes replacing rail ties and the high speed surfacing of track to support safe operations and optimal train movements. The railroad today is in the best condition it has ever been, and the investments we're making this year will further strengthen the network. As more details on this year's plan are released, we will continue to provide updates to customers on the status of key capital projects throughout the year.
Below is a look at the key operational performance categories for the week ending January 12:
Total trains held for the week was down by more than 46 percent to an average of 23.7 versus 44.1 trains held the prior week.
Versus the January 2015 average: better by 73.1%
Total trains on the system was up by more than six percent from the prior week with an average of 1,192 trains on the system.
Locomotive velocity, measured in miles per day (MPD), was 286.6, which is up by more than seven percent from the prior week's 266.9 MPD.
Versus the January 2015 average: better by 9.7%
Car velocity was up by more than two percent at 230.9 MPD versus 226.0 MPD recorded the prior week.
Versus the January 2015 average: better by 11.3%
Train velocity was unchanged from the prior week at 22.7 miles per hour.
Versus the January 2015 average: better by 29.7%
Total volume was up by nearly 20 percent from the prior week, which included the New Year's Day holiday, with 181,128 units moved in Week 1 (ending January 9).
Terminal dwell was down by nearly four percent from the prior week at 24.0 hours.
Versus the January 2015 average: better by 5.5%
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.