With the upcoming Thanksgiving and Day after Thanksgiving holidays, we are delivering this Network Update one week earlier than scheduled. We will resume our normal biweekly schedule on Friday, December 3.
Rail operations in the Pacific Northwest have improved following significant service disruptions early this week due to flooding. As we reported, heavy rainfall produced track washouts, landslides and high water locations in multiple locations across northwestern Washington and British Columbia. Some affected BNSF track reopened and returned to service by Wednesday, however, our main line between Burlington and Sumas, Washington remains out of service.
Ongoing track outages in British Columbia continue to restrict interchange with Canadian carriers. Water levels in affected locations are expected to recede into the weekend, and we expect service in the region to gradually improve during the next several days.
We are currently experiencing some train delays on our primary coal route in Wyoming and Nebraska following track repair work conducted yesterday. Train flows are normalizing as all main line segments in this region have returned to service.
Regarding our key service metrics, overall car velocity decreased this week by more than 2% compared to the previous week as well as the average for October. Terminal dwell remains elevated, while our local service compliance measure improved slightly from the prior week. Going into the holiday season, BNSF operating teams remain focused on generating greater resource productivity and alignment with volumes.
Thanksgiving Holiday Operating Plan
BNSF’s Intermodal Thanksgiving operating plan will remain focused on meeting customers’ expectations while matching operations to rail volumes. This year, BNSF will observe the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, November 25 and Friday, November 26.
BNSF will continue to operate Intermodal trains over the Thanksgiving holiday. However, due to lighter volumes of traffic and possible train consolidations, we anticipate that shipments from Tuesday, November 23 through Monday, November 29 may experience delays of up to 48 hours. Connecting carriers who have reduced operations for the holiday may cause delays on interline traffic.
Intermodal Facility Operations
All BNSF Intermodal hubs will observe normal working hours during the holiday period. As a reminder, BNSF will add a standard $150 credit for every unit that outgates on a BNSF storage holiday (as defined in BNSF’s Intermodal R&PG) from any BNSF-operated intermodal facility (Group 1 or 2). Storage credits can be accessed and applied to any unit at any BNSF facility via the Storage Credit Tool at BNSF.com
For interactive tracking 365 days a year, please use BNSF’s Tracking Tool by logging in with your user name and password and selecting Track Your Shipment. If you have questions regarding a shipment(s), please utilize the Message Us feature on the BNSF Customer Portal (must be registered/logged in to access) or contact BNSF Customer Support at 1-888-428-2673. We also encourage drivers to download and use the BNSF RailPASS mobile application to receive real-time notifications, instructions and inventory updates.
Customer Support will maintain a limited staff on Thanksgiving Day and Friday, November 26. Normal coverage will resume on Saturday, November 27.
Service Expectations for the Week Ahead
BNSF crews are monitoring chances for more wet weather in the Pacific Northwest during the upcoming week. As always, our teams are prepared and ready to respond to weather-related service challenges. Elsewhere across the BNSF network, no major disruptions due to severe weather are anticipated at this time.