This is our last Network Update in 2019. We wish all our customers a very safe and happy holiday season. Our next Network Update will be delivered on January 3, 2020.
The operation is generating strong overall performance going into the final holiday weeks of 2019. Average velocity for both cars and trains is currently running at our highest levels of the year. Total trains held has been reduced by nearly half versus the average level from last month as well as the previous December.
Earlier this week, we experienced some train delays near Emporia, Kansas as well as at our busy Argentine rail yard in Kansas City. Ongoing track repair work at Argentine has caused some congestion and limited production. Crews are making progress in completing repairs, and we expect operating conditions at the yard to improve through the weekend and into next week.
BNSF operating teams have worked aggressively during this peak shipping season to effectively balance resources with train flows and to restore service quickly in response to service interruptions, including frequent winter weather during the past several weeks. The network remains in the best condition it has ever been, and we are focused on delivering even greater velocity and improved efficiencies going into the new year.
Christmas and New Year's Operating Plan
BNSF's Intermodal 2019-2020 Christmas and New Year's operating plan will remain focused on meeting customers' expectations while matching operations to any reductions in traffic volumes. The number of trains operating on BNSF track is typically lower over the Christmas and New Year's holidays due to reduced freight volume. BNSF's Intermodal holiday operating plan will adjust operations to account for this potential reduction in traffic and possible train consolidations.
As a result, shipments from Tuesday, December 24, through Friday, January 3, 2020, may experience delays of approximately 24 to 48 hours. Connecting carriers who have reduced operations for the holidays may cause delays on interline traffic.
Most of our intermodal hubs will observe normal working hours throughout the upcoming Christmas and New Year's holidays (see schedule here).
Customer Support will maintain a limited staff on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve until 6 p.m. CT. Standard coverage will resume at 6 a.m. CT on the Thursday following each holiday.
During the holiday season, we encourage our trucking partners to pick up their shipments as promptly and safely as possible. Prompt pick-up will help improve traffic flows, reduce lot congestion and provide the space needed for processing inbound shipments. We also encourage drivers to download and use BNSF Railway's mobile application, RailPASS, to receive real-time notifications, instructions and inventory updates.
Service Expectations for the Week Ahead
Favorable operating conditions are expected across much of the BNSF network during the upcoming holiday week. No significant service interruptions due to weather are expected at this time.
Below is a look at the key operational performance categories for the week ending December 19:
Total trains held for the week decreased by nearly 11 percent with an average of 59.7 trains held versus 67.0 trains held during the prior week.
Versus the November 2019 average: down by 41.8%
Versus the December 2018 average: down by 52.7%
Total trains on the system was essentially unchanged versus the prior week with an average of 1,454 trains on the system.
Versus the November 2019 average: down by 4.0%
Versus the December 2018 average: down by 5.7%
Car velocity, measured in miles per day (MPD), was essentially unchanged at 219.1 MPD versus 219.4 MPD recorded the prior week.
Versus the November 2019 average: up by 4.2%
Versus the December 2018 average: up by 7.2%
Train velocity, measured in miles per hour (MPH), was up by nearly one percent versus the prior week at 19.0 MPH.
Versus the November 2019 average: up by 10.5%
Versus the December 2018 average: up by 9.3%
Total volume increased by nearly one percent from the prior week with 199,642 units moved in Week 50 (ending December 14) versus 197,984 units in Week 49 (ending December 7).
Terminal dwell was up by nearly three percent versus the prior week at 24.3 hours.
Versus the November 2019 average: down by 2.4%
Versus the December 2018 average: down by 9.0%
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.