Agricultural Products Network Update for September 20, 2019

Sep 20, 2019

Operational Performance
BNSF teams are currently addressing service disruptions in southeastern Texas resulting from major flooding. Some locations, particularly in the Beaumont area, received more than 30 inches of rain during the past 48-72 hours as the former Tropical Storm Imelda remained nearly stationary over the region. The city of Houston recorded more than nine inches of rain yesterday, which represents its wettest September day on record and the fifth most rainfall ever received on a single day.

Customers should expect delays on shipments scheduled to move through the area. With high water and washouts in multiple locations, our Conroe Subdivision between Dobbin and Cleveland, TX is currently out of service. BNSF crews are addressing affected track and making repairs as quickly as possible. Service is expected to be fully restored on the Conroe Subdivision this weekend. While this work is ongoing, BNSF has issued an embargo affecting traffic scheduled to move to these affected locations as well as those shipments designated for interchange at either Beaumont or Korf, TX. Other carriers have also implemented embargoes governing several other stations in the region. You can view all active embargoes at the Association of American Railroads (AAR) Embargo Railinc website here.

BNSF yards and facilities in the region are open, however, portions of major roadways between Houston and Beaumont, including Interstate 10, remain closed due to high water. The road closures are limiting the ability of some crews and other personnel to reach these facilities and affected locations. Some additional rainfall is possible today with any storms that develop, however, conditions in the region will continue to improve through the weekend.

Despite the current flooding-related disruptions in Texas, overall performance on the network has remained strong during the past few weeks. Velocity for both cars and trains is running at the highest levels since January. Terminal dwell has also been reduced to its lowest level since the start of the year. Operating teams are engaged in ongoing efforts to drive greater velocity and efficiency improvement as we move into the busy fall season.

Service Expectations for the Week Ahead
Favorable operating conditions are expected across much of the network during the next several days as move into the first week of fall. While traffic flows through the Houston complex and southeastern Texas are expected to normalize going into the week, no other 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 September 19:

Total trains held for the week increased by more than 26 percent with an average of 96.3 trains held versus 76.4 trains held during the prior week.
    Versus the August 2019 average: down by 11.6%
    Versus the September 2018 average: down by 28.2%

Total trains on the system decreased by less than one percent versus the prior week with an average of 1,488 trains on the system.
    Versus the August 2019 average: down by 5.4%
    Versus the September 2018 average: down by 8.8%

Car velocity, measured in miles per day (MPD), was down by nearly two percent at 205.9 MPD versus 209.9 MPD recorded the prior week.
    Versus the August 2019 average: up by 2.4%
    Versus the September 2018 average: up by 1.4%

Train velocity, measured in miles per hour (MPH), was down by less than one percent versus the prior week at 17.6 MPH.
    Versus the August 2019 average: up by 6.1%
    Versus the September 2018 average: up by 4.2%

Total volume increased by more than five percent from the prior week with 201,399 units moved in Week 37 (ending September 14) versus 191,795 units in Week 36 (ending September 7, which included the Labor Day holiday).

Terminal dwell increased by more than three percent versus the prior week at 24.8 hours.
    Versus the August 2019 average: down by 3.0%
    Versus the September 2018 average: down by 3.7%

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.