BNSF operating teams continue to drive greater velocity and efficiency of train flows moving on the network. Overall performance, including car velocity, total trains held, and terminal dwell, has improved significantly in recent weeks. Following the Labor Day holiday, key service metrics are all running better than last month's averages as well as the previous September. Total volume moved on the railroad during the previous week (week ending August 31) was the highest level recorded this year at more than 210,000 units.
Earlier this week, the U.S. Coast Guard provided final environmental approval of BNSF's proposed bridge expansion project in Sandpoint, Idaho. With permits received from the Coast Guard, upland work on constructing an additional span across Lake Pend Oreille and Sand Creek at Sandpoint is set to begin. This video highlights how this second main line bridge at this busy location will ease congestion and greatly improve the efficiency of train flows.
As preliminary work on the bridge project gets underway, BNSF engineering teams nearby are finishing work on more than two miles of new double-track between West Algoma and Cocolalla, Idaho, approximately 20 miles south of Sandpoint. The new double-track is expected to be placed into service in early October. With a multi-year program focused on fully double-tracking our main line between Sandpoint and Spokane, WA, BNSF is addressing the capacity needs in handling current and future rail traffic flows to and from the Pacific Northwest.
Service Expectations for the Week Ahead
Favorable operating conditions are expected across much of the network. Major maintenance activity will continue in some areas, including on the Pikes Peak Subdivision south of Denver. Train delays are possible due to scheduled daily work windows in several locations.
Below is a look at the key operational performance categories for the week ending September 5:
Total trains held for the week increased by more than eight percent with an average of 107.6 trains held versus 99.3 trains held during the prior week.
Versus the August 2019 average: down by 1.2%
Versus the September 2018 average: down by 19.8%
Total trains on the system decreased by more than two percent versus the prior week with an average of 1,543 trains on the system.
Versus the August 2019 average: down by 1.9%
Versus the September 2018 average: down by 5.4%
Car velocity, measured in miles per day (MPD), was up by nearly one percent at 207.4 MPD versus 206.2 MPD recorded the prior week.
Versus the August 2019 average: up by 3.1%
Versus the September 2018 average: up by 2.2%
Train velocity, measured in miles per hour (MPH), was essentially unchanged versus the prior week at 16.9 MPH.
Versus the August 2019 average: up by 2.1%
Versus the September 2018 average: up by 0.3%
Total volume increased by more than four percent from the prior week with 210,267 units moved in Week 35 (ending August 31) versus 201,435 units in Week 34 (ending August 24).
Terminal dwell decreased by nearly one percent versus the prior week at 25.4 hours.
Versus the August 2019 average: down by 0.7%
Versus the September 2018 average: down by 1.5%
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.