Agricultural Products Network Update for Friday, March 25, 2022
BNSF operating teams remain engaged in an aggressive program to generate improved service performance across our network. As we reported throughout the winter, frequent extreme weather events coupled with global supply chain disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in reduced productivity and excess railcar inventory. Major service interruptions during the past few months, particularly in Southern California as well as along our Southern Transcon route through the Southwest and into the central Plains, also impacted velocity and our ability to effectively align resources with freight volumes.
After implementing our service recovery program three weeks ago, we are making incremental progress in addressing elevated railcar inventory levels, reduced velocity and resource imbalances with freight volumes. While we are generating some positive results, despite some challenges from widespread severe weather earlier this week, reducing active car inventory will require a sustained collaborative effort among various groups to generate improved network fluidity.
We are also focused on adding resources to meet the strong freight volume demands. Power availability is improving as more locomotives have been deployed to the active fleet. Following implementation of our new attendance policy in February, we have seen a significant improvement in crew availability across our network. BNSF plans to hire approximately 1,000 additional train crew personnel in 2022. We currently have approximately 300 employees in crew training, which runs between 13-15 weeks, and additional classes are planned throughout the year.
Going forward, we will now provide weekly updates on our service recovery. We appreciate your patience as we work to restore service to the level you expect and need us to deliver.
Service Expectations for the Week Ahead
Favorable operating conditions are expected across much of the network during the upcoming week. Track maintenance work is also ongoing in multiple locations. Where crews are active, some train delays are possible during scheduled daily work windows.