Intermodal Network Update for Friday, March 1, 2024

Mar 1, 2024

BNSF operating teams are confronting significant challenges associated with wildfires, which are impacting the velocity and fluidity across the Southern Transcon. On Tuesday, a wildfire was reported in the Texas Panhandle near Canadian, Texas, approximately 100 miles northeast of Amarillo, Texas. As we reported, the wildfire impacted both of our main lines on the Panhandle Subdivision, which runs between Amarillo and Wellington, Kansas.

Our bridge across the Canadian River, north of Canadian, sustained significant damage from the fire. BNSF Engineering teams responded quickly by deploying generators to operate signals and detectors impacted by commercial power outages and completing repairs. Thanks to their hard work, BNSF was able to restore service to one mainline in about 36 hours. The other mainline span of the bridge is expected to return to service tomorrow morning. While some trains were rerouted during the outage, it will take several days for traffic to normalize on this busy section of our Southern Transcon.

Canadian River Bridge – Panhandle Subdivision near Canadian, Texas

The Smokehouse Creek Fire, now the largest in Texas history, has burned more than 1 million acres across the Texas Panhandle and into western Oklahoma and is only 15% contained as of this morning. Our thoughts are with those whom the wildfires have impacted. BNSF and emergency personnel remain on site. As coordinated through our Command Center, the efforts by our various response teams in the area remain focused on protecting infrastructure and restoring service safety as soon as possible.

Smokehouse Fire Damage – Panhandle Subdivision near Canadian, Texas

Regarding overall service performance, average car velocity increased versus the prior week and month, reflecting improved performance across our Northern Transcon in the wake of January’s widespread winter weather event. Terminal dwell increased slightly from last week, and the average is nearly 4% lower than last month. Our local service compliance measure continues to trend upwards and is slightly above 92%.

An active weather pattern remains in place and will continue to generate high winds periodically across the desert Southwest and into the Panhandle and Central Plains through the weekend. The risk of wildfire spread, particularly in western Texas and Oklahoma, remains high.

Winter weather warnings are in place across much of the Northwest; several days of cold temperatures, snow and high winds, up to 70 miles per hour, are expected in some areas. As always, BNSF teams are monitoring forecasts and will respond to any disruptions as quickly as possible.

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