The operation generated relatively steady overall performance this week with locomotive, train and car velocity each essentially unchanged versus the previous week. The number of total trains held remains elevated due primarily to continuing high winds across much of our Northern Corridor. Wind gusts have periodically exceeded 80 miles per hour, which have required our operations teams to implement additional train handling procedures to ensure safety. Total volume moved by the railroad reached its highest weekly level of the year to-date, exceeding 211,000 units.
We experienced some disruption to traffic across Montana last week following the October 13 derailment of an empty grain train that occurred on our Glasgow Subdivision near Williston, North Dakota. As we reported to impacted customers, both main tracks and a bridge at the incident location experienced damage, which required the installation of a replacement bridge span. Service was restored on one of the main tracks in less than 36 hours and some trains were rerouted to minimize delays. All repair work has been completed and, with normalized train flows through the area, additional reduction in the number of trains holding is expected.
Service Expectations for the Week Ahead
Peak maintenance activity on the network is winding down as we move into November, which will support improved fluidity and velocity. No significant service interruptions due to weather are expected during the next several days as most of the BNSF network will have favorable operating conditions.
Below is a look at the key operational performance categories for the week ending October 26:
Total trains held for the week decreased by nearly six percent with an average 75.4 trains held versus 80.0 trains held during the prior week.
Versus the October 2016 average: up by 20.3%
Total trains on the system increased by two percent versus the prior week with an average of 1,553 trains on the system.
Locomotive velocity, measured in miles per day (MPD), was 280.8, which is essentially unchanged from the 279.3 MPD recorded the prior week.
Versus the October 2016 average: down by 7.3%
Car velocity was essentially unchanged at 218.1 MPD versus 218.2 MPD recorded the prior week.
Versus the October 2016 average: down by 5.6%
Train velocity, measured in miles per hour (MPH), was unchanged versus the prior week at 18.4 MPH.
Versus the October 2016 average: down by 4.2%
Total volume was up by more than four percent from the prior week with 211,350 units moved in Week 42 (ending October 21) versus 202,577 units in Week 41 (ending October 14).
Terminal dwell was up by more than one percent versus the prior week at 25.3 hours.
Versus the October 2016 average: up by 3.0%
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.