Intermodal Network Update for Friday, July 7, 2023

Jul 7, 2023

BNSF operating teams have been addressing several service interruptions across the network. A Montana Rail Link (MRL) bridge collapsed on Saturday, June 24, on the MRL line running between Billings, Montana, and Sandpoint, Idaho. Restoration and recovery efforts are ongoing and while there is currently no estimate on when service will be restored at this time, it is anticipated the new bridge will be completed in the next several weeks. BNSF trains are being re-routed to minimize the impact of this disruption, and customers tracing their freight may notice nonstandard routings, locations, and interchanges. To minimize service disruptions, we added locomotives to our existing fleet in the Northern Region and reached an agreement with MRL and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET), which allows MRL crews to temporarily operate BNSF detour trains, to facilitate maintaining network fluidity.

A powerful storm system brought heavy rainfall and strong winds to parts of the Midwest last week, with some areas of Illinois reporting wind gusts upwards of 80 mph. Fallen trees and power lines caused outages on portions of our Marceline and Chillicothe Subdivisions. Nine main lines were blocked while our crews worked to clear debris. Service was restored to the impacted lines by early Saturday morning, and traffic flows have since normalized.

These disruptions are reflected in the operational performance of the network. Average car velocity was down slightly versus the prior week and the level for June. Terminal dwell increased from last week, and the average is over two percent higher than the level from last month. Our local service compliance measure, which reflects our timeliness in handling carload freight, is averaging over 92 percent, an improvement versus the prior week and month.

Last week, BNSF placed a new production track into service as part of a multi-year expansion program at our Cicero Intermodal Facility near Chicago, Illinois. The new track, totaling nearly 4,200 feet, will provide additional capacity for loading and unloading trains.

Production track, Cicero Intermodal Facility – June 2023

Since 2019, we have increased Cicero’s parking capacity by about 20 percent, with about 400 parking stalls added in 2022. We also finished an overpass for trucks entering and exiting the Cicero hub, which improved efficiency and increased safety for drivers entering and exiting the facility.

These enhancements are another example of how BNSF invests in handling your growing business. We will continue to keep you updated on capacity expansion milestones and are ready to collaborate with you to meet your freight needs in the greater Chicago area and beyond.

As we approach the weekend, severe thunderstorms are expected for portions of the High Plains from Montana and Colorado eastward into the south-central Plains. BNSF teams are monitoring conditions closely and are prepared to respond to any weather-related service interruptions.

Beginning on Sunday, July 16, customers with shipments moving to/from the Dallas-Fort Worth area will experience delays as construction begins on the Trinity River Bridge near downtown Fort Worth. This work is part of a multi-year, multi-phased expansion project to increase capacity and improve velocity by adding five miles of double track to this busy route, which runs from north Fort Worth, Texas, to Temple. The construction window for the bridge will begin on Sunday morning and last approximately 12 hours. If you have questions or need assistance with your shipment, please use Message Us on the BNSF Customer Portal or contact your marketing service representative.

We thank you for your business and appreciate the opportunity to serve as your transportation service provider. We welcome your feedback and questions.