Intermodal: Extreme Winter Weather Impacting Operations

Feb 11, 2021

BNSF is confronting service challenges in multiple areas of our network due to extreme winter operating conditions. For the past several days, Arctic cold in place throughout the northern and central U.S. has impacted the ability to maintain normal train operations. On our Northern Corridor through the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest, additional locomotives have been required to generate proper air flow for trains’ braking systems. We are also experiencing reduced productivity at terminals in the region due to multiple switch and air flow issues across rail yards.

In Chicago, following two major snowstorms and the current deep cold spell, we continue to experience processing delays our Corwith, Cicero, Logistics Park Chicago (LPC) and Willow Springs intermodal facilities. To alleviate congestion, we ask customers to continue to prioritize the pick-up of shipments that have been unloaded at these facilities. By working together to reduce the amount of time your container/trailer dwells, we can generate improved overall traffic flow and lift capabilities. BNSF offers multiple ways to track your shipments: we encourage drivers to download and use the BNSF RailPass mobile application to receive real-time notifications, instructions and inventory updates.

In the Pacific Northwest, winter storm warnings are currently in effect for portions of western Washington and Oregon as heavy snow is expected during the next few days. This active weather pattern will bring significant snow and ice to some locations across the southern Plains going into the start of next week, including parts of north Texas. These same southern locations are also likely to experience their coldest temperatures in many years.

Multiple BNSF operating divisions have implemented winter action plans in response to these harsh conditions. We have deployed additional resources, including more supervising personnel at key locations like Chicago to manage our around-the-clock response. While progress has been made to address ongoing service issues, customers should expect that delays of 48 hours or more are possible for shipments designated to move through impacted areas.

Thank you for your patience. Please contact your BNSF representative or BNSF Customer Support at 888-428-2673 if you have any questions.