The operation experienced steady overall performance versus the previous week with good fluidity reported across the network. Velocity for cars, trains and locomotives were each relatively consistent with the prior week and remain within several percentage points of averages from the previous September. Terminal dwell was significantly reduced following a brief rise associated with the Labor Day holiday.
The average number of total trains held was also down by a large margin this week as major disruptions, particularly those caused by the impacts from Tropical Storm Harvey, have abated. While train flows through southeastern Texas and Louisiana have largely normalized, some trains continue to be re-routed around locations where issues remain.
Some trains experienced delays earlier this week in Nebraska due to a bridge outage on our Ravenna Subdivision, which runs between Ravenna and Lincoln. The bridge, located in Aurora, Nebraska, sustained significant damage Monday afternoon after it was struck by a truck hauling wind turbine parts. BNSF crews worked aggressively to complete the necessary repairs for re-opening, and the bridge was back in service by Wednesday evening. Several rerouting options were available to affected traffic, which minimized service disruptions during the closure.
Service Expectations for the Week Ahead
Much of the BNSF network will experience favorable operating conditions during the next several days. No significant service interruptions due to weather are expected. In addition, the return of a wet weather pattern in the Pacific Northwest, including some snow likely in the higher elevations of western Montana into this weekend, will help reduce the wildfire activity that has periodically encroached on some of our main lines in the region.
Below is a look at the key operational performance categories for the week ending September 14:
Total trains held for the week decreased by nearly 30 percent with an average 61.9 trains held versus 88.0 trains held during the prior week.
Versus the September 2016 average: up by 13.7%
Total trains on the system increased by more than four percent versus the prior week with an average of 1,455 trains on the system.
Locomotive velocity, measured in miles per day (MPD), was 278.5, which is up by more than two percent from the 271.9 MPD recorded the prior week.
Versus the September 2016 average: down by 5.7%
Car velocity was essentially unchanged at 222.8 MPD versus 222.6 MPD recorded the prior week.
Versus the September 2016 average: down by 1.5%
Train velocity, measured in miles per hour (MPH), was essentially unchanged versus the prior week at 18.8 MPH.
Versus the September 2016 average: down by 1.3%
Total volume was down by nearly three percent from the prior week with 190,334 units moved in Week 36 (ending September 9), which included the Labor Day holiday) versus 196,169 units in Week 35 (ending September 2).
Terminal dwell decreased by more than eight percent from the prior week at 23.7 hours.
Versus the September 2016 average: down by 2.0%
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.