Note: With the upcoming Thanksgiving and Day after Thanksgiving holidays, we are delivering this Network Update one week earlier than scheduled. We will resume our normal biweekly schedule on Friday, December 6.
BNSF operating teams continue to generate improved network performance with an ongoing focus on effectively matching resources to freight volumes. Overall velocity, for both cars and trains, increased versus the prior week and is now exceeding average levels from last month as well as the previous November by a significant margin. Terminal dwell was reduced and is now close to the lowest level recorded this year.
With the ongoing Canadian National (CN) labor dispute, BNSF is complying with embargoes issued by CN earlier this week impacting traffic billed to/from their locations in Canada. BNSF also issued its own embargo, which took effect yesterday, that applies to all locations where we interchange with CN. Intermodal shipments are exempt from the BNSF and CN embargoes.
Customers with non-intermodal shipments designated for interchange to/from CN should expect delays. For the latest embargo information, please visit the Railinc Association of American Railroads (AAR) Embargo System website here. BNSF is monitoring this situation closely and positioning traffic to support a smooth reopening once the embargoes are rescinded.
Thanksgiving Holiday Operating Plan
Throughout the Thanksgiving holiday, BNSF will remain focused on keeping the grain network performing to meet demand. BNSF will observe the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, November 28 and Friday, November 2\9.
With Thanksgiving Day as a shuttle holiday, impacted customers may request to move official spot times:
Customers with empty trains arriving at the loading facility after 12 p.m. Wednesday, November 27, may elect to move their official spot time to 6 a.m. Friday, November 29. During this time frame, trains may be loaded if desired.
Customers with loaded trains arriving at an unload facility after 6 p.m. Wednesday, November 27, may elect to move their official spot time to 6 a.m. Friday, November 29. During this time frame, trains may be unloaded if desired.
Whether empty or loaded, customers who elect to move their spot time must contact BNSF Grain Operations at least eight hours in advance and advise of their intentions for train, power and crew planning purposes.
There is no allowance for the Friday after Thanksgiving. Origination Efficiency Payment (OEP) or Destination Efficiency Payment (DEP) will be lost if customer(s) elect to operate outside of these allowances.
Carload Train Service
Train service will not be curtailed due to the Thanksgiving holiday, however, BNSF plans to minimize the number of yard, local and road-switch assignments at terminals on Thursday, November 28, if specifically advised by customers that service will not be needed. Connecting carriers who have reduced operations for the holiday may cause delays on interline traffic.
Service Expectations for the Week Ahead
During the upcoming holiday week, an active weather pattern will bring the chance for a significant winter storm across parts of the interior Pacific Northwest and into the Northern Plains. As always, BNSF teams are actively monitoring conditions across the network. In accordance with winter action plans, each of our operating divisions is prepared to implement procedures to minimize any service disruptions caused by severe weather.
Below is a look at the key operational performance categories for the week ending November 21:
Total trains held for the week decreased by nearly two percent with an average of 79.4 trains held versus 81.0 trains held during the prior week.
Versus the October 2019 average: down by 32.7%
Versus the November 2018 average: down by 38.9%
Total trains on the system was essentially unchanged versus the prior week with an average of 1,529 trains on the system.
Versus the October 2019 average: down by 1.2%
Versus the November 2018 average: down by 2.7%
Car velocity, measured in miles per day (MPD), was up by nearly three percent at 216.4 MPD versus 211.0 MPD recorded the prior week.
Versus the October 2019 average: up by 8.4%
Versus the November 2018 average: up by 7.2%
Train velocity, measured in miles per hour (MPH), was up by more than three percent versus the prior week at 17.8 MPH.
Versus the October 2019 average: up by 8.7%
Versus the November 2018 average: up by 4.9%
Total volume decreased by nearly two percent from the prior week with 196,123 units moved in Week 46 (ending November 16) versus 199,486 units in Week 45 (ending November 9).
Terminal dwell decreased by nearly three percent versus the prior week at 24.4 hours.
Versus the October 2019 average: down by 3.0%
Versus the November 2018 average: down by 7.7%
As always, we thank you for your business and appreciate the opportunity to serve as your transportation service provider.