The operation is generating improved performance this week as much of the network has experienced favorable operating conditions. Overall velocity for cars and trains each increased by a significant margin versus the prior week. Terminal dwell was reduced as the weekly average remains several percentage points below the level from the previous April. BNSF continues to move robust volume as we exceeded the 200,000-unit level last week, which is the 11th out of 16 reporting weeks this year.
As maintenance activity and expansion work is active in key areas of the network, the average number of total trains remains elevated. Improved weather along our primary Northern Transcon route between the Pacific Northwest and Chicago have allowed multiple crews to engage in rail replacement and surfacing work along our Milk River Subdivision through eastern Montana. While projects on the Milk River Subdivision are expected to be completed next week, work will continue on other subdivisions along this busy route, particularly the Lakeside Subdivision between Pasco and Spokane, Washington. As always, our teams are constantly evaluating all available options to mitigate potential delays associated with this work as much as possible.
Get the Latest Agricultural News in Sam Sexhus' Podcast
In this week's audio podcast, BNSF Group Vice President of Agricultural Products, Sam Sexhus provides a network update, including the latest information on shuttle turns-per-month (TPM) and velocity in miles-per-day (MPD). We monitor our MPD and TPM performance closely in Agricultural Products as these two metrics are particularly important to ensure our service meets your expectations. We are providing this additional information in response to your requests and it will continue to be included in future podcasts.
Service Expectations for the Week Ahead
Most of the network will continue to experience favorable operating conditions into the first days of May.
This map highlights network maintenance activity next week, with particular focus on locations in red where significant train delays are possible. One particular project is on the Southern Transcon, which was postponed from an earlier date and is now scheduled to take place on Sunday, April 29. The work involves replacing a track diamond (a location where tracks cross) at Streator, Illinois, approximately 100 miles southwest of Chicago, Illinois, and requires a 5am - 5pm main line outage through this location. Some trains will be rerouted while others will be held during this time as BNSF crews remove existing track and then replace with new rail, ballast, drainage pipes and expansion joints. We appreciate your patience as this work is essential in supporting the safety and efficiency of the network.
Below is a look at the key operational performance categories for the week ending April 26:
Total trains held for the week decreased by more than 21 percent with an average of 92.7 trains held versus 117.7 trains held during the prior week.
Versus the April 2017 average: up by 45.5%
Total trains on the system was down by more than one percent versus the prior week with an average of 1,539 trains on the system.
Versus the April 2017 average: up by 9.1%
Car velocity was up by more than four percent at 214.6 MPD versus 205.8 MPD recorded the prior week.
Versus the April 2017 average: unchanged
Train velocity, measured in miles per hour (MPH), was up by nearly four percent versus the prior week at 18.3 MPH.
Versus the April 2017 average: down by 3.8%
Total volume was up by more than one percent from the prior week with 201,431 units moved in Week 16 (ending April 21) versus 198,994 units in Week 15 (ending April 14).
Terminal dwell decreased by more than two percent versus the prior week at 24.8 hours.
Versus the April 2017 average: down by 6.0%
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.