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 bi-weekly schedule on Friday, November 30.
BNSF operating teams are moving robust freight volumes on the network heading into the holiday season. For the ninth straight week, our longest period of the year to date, total volume on the railroad exceeded 200,000 units. Overall car and train velocity each decreased by a few percentage points versus the prior week. The number of trains held was essentially unchanged while terminal dwell was slightly higher.
With the major wildfire in northern California, some traffic moving to/from the Pacific Northwest and California has been impacted this week. The fire affected a portion of our trackage rights line, approximately 150 miles north of Sacramento, which has caused train delays and required detours onto alternate lines. Service through the area was restored yesterday morning, however, signal damage and power outages have limited recovery efforts. BNSF will continue to re-route some trains until operations on the affected line have fully normalized.
BNSF crews completed the installation yesterday of a new siding on our Avard Subdivision, which runs between Avard, Oklahoma and Tulsa. The 10,000-foot siding, located near Hopeton, OK, is just east of where the Avard Subdivision and our Southern Transcon intersect in northwestern Oklahoma. This new siding will improve train flows moving to/from the Transcon and provide additional capacity along this portion of the network.
Get the Latest Agricultural News in Sam Sexhus' Podcast
In this week's audio podcast, BNSF Group Vice President of Agricultural Products, Sam Sexhus, provides a network update, including the latest information on shuttle turns-per-month (TPM) and velocity in miles-per-day (MPD).
Thanksgiving Holiday Operating Plan
Throughout the Thanksgiving holiday, BNSF will remain focused on keeping the grain network performing to meet demand. BNSF will observe the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, November 22 and Friday, November 23.
With Thanksgiving Day as a shuttle holiday, impacted customers may request to move official spot times:
Customers with empty trains arriving at the loading facility after 12 p.m. Wednesday, November 21, may elect to move their official spot time to 6 a.m. Friday, November 23. During this time frame, trains may be loaded if desired.
Customers with loaded trains arriving at an unload facility after 6 p.m. Wednesday, November 21, may elect to move their official spot time to 6 a.m. Friday, November 23. During this time frame, trains may be unloaded if desired.
Whether empty or loaded, customers who elect to move their spot time must contact BNSF Grain Operations at least eight hours in advance and advise of their intentions for train, power and crew planning purposes.
There is no allowance for the Friday after Thanksgiving. Origination Efficiency Payment (OEP) or Destination Efficiency Payment (DEP) will be lost if customer(s) elect to operate outside of these allowances.
Carload Train Service
Train service will not be curtailed due to the Thanksgiving holiday, however, BNSF plans to minimize the number of yard, local and road-switch assignments at terminals on Thursday, November 22, if specifically advised by customers that service will not be needed. Connecting carriers who have reduced operations for the holiday may cause delays on interline traffic.
Service Expectations for the Week Ahead
No major winter storms are expected to impact the BNSF network during the upcoming holiday week. Most areas, including locations across our Northern Transcon, will experience favorable operating conditions.
Below is a look at the key operational performance categories for the week ending November 15:
Total trains held for the week decreased by nearly one percent with an average of 113.0 trains held versus 113.9 trains held during the prior week.
Versus the November 2017 average: up by 29.1%
Total trains on the system was up by more than one percent versus the prior week with an average of 1,604 trains on the system.
Versus the November 2017 average: up by 7.5%
Car velocity, measured in miles per day (MPD), was down by more than two percent at 200.8 MPD versus 204.9 MPD recorded the prior week.
Versus the November 2017 average: down by 11.6%
Train velocity, measured in miles per hour (MPH), was down by more than three percent versus the prior week at 16.6 MPH.
Versus the November 2017 average: down by 13.3%
Total volume was down by nearly three percent from the prior week with 208,777 units moved in Week 45 (ending November 10) versus 214,301 units in Week 44 (ending November 3).
Terminal dwell was up by nearly two percent versus the prior week at 26.1 hours.
Versus the November 2017 average: up by 8.2%
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.