Note: With the upcoming Thanksgiving and Day after Thanksgiving holidays, our next Network Update will be delivered on Friday, November 22. We will resume our normal bi-weekly schedule on Friday, December 6.
The operation generated improved overall network performance this week while responding to several service challenges. We experienced a derailment early Wednesday morning on our Creston Subdivision near McPherson, Iowa, approximately 125 miles west of Des Moines. The incident occurred on our primary route through Iowa, and some traffic experienced delays while both main tracks were out of service. All repairs were quickly completed as the first main track was reopened in approximately 24 hours. Service was restored on the second main track early this morning. Train flows through the affected location will continue to normalize today and into this weekend.
BNSF teams also responded safely and promptly to service interruptions caused by an Arctic outbreak which brought record cold temperatures to many areas of the network. Some train restrictions were implemented in parts of the Northern Plains where temperatures dropped well below zero on Tuesday. Crews also addressed track and signal issues in a few locations affected by the extreme cold.
Despite these challenges, velocity for both cars and trains was up significantly versus the prior week as well as versus the average in October. The average of total trains held was reduced by more than a third from the prior week and is currently well below the levels of last month and the previous November. Operating teams remain focused on generating further velocity and efficiency improvement going into the holiday season.
Service Expectations for the Week Ahead
Favorable operating conditions for this time of year are expected during much of the upcoming week. Most areas of the network will experience warmer temperatures during the next several days with no repeat Arctic outbreak of extreme cold.
Below is a look at the key operational performance categories for the week ending November 14:
Total trains held for the week decreased by more than 35 percent with an average of 81.0 trains held versus 125.7 trains held during the prior week.
Versus the October 2019 average: down by 31.4%
Versus the November 2018 average: down by 37.6%
Total trains on the system decreased by more than two percent versus the prior week with an average of 1,526 trains on the system.
Versus the October 2019 average: down by 1.3%
Versus the November 2018 average: down by 2.8%
Car velocity, measured in miles per day (MPD), was up by more than four percent at 210.8 MPD versus 202.5 MPD recorded the prior week.
Versus the October 2019 average: up by 5.5%
Versus the November 2018 average: up by 4.4%
Train velocity, measured in miles per hour (MPH), was up by nearly six percent versus the prior week at 17.4 MPH.
Versus the October 2019 average: up by 5.8%
Versus the November 2018 average: up by 2.1%
Total volume decreased by less than one percent from the prior week with 199,486 units moved in Week 45 (ending November 9) versus 200,936 units in Week 44 (ending November 2).
Terminal dwell decreased by more than one percent versus the prior week at 25.0 hours.
Versus the October 2019 average: down by 0.4%
Versus the November 2018 average: down by 5.3%
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.