BNSF operating teams have responded to significant weather challenges this week as traffic flows normalize following the New Year's holiday. Heavy snow and frigid temperatures across parts of Wyoming, Nebraska and South Dakota earlier this week caused some disruptions affecting primarily coal traffic moving to/from the Powder River Basin. Service in the area continues to improve as our recovery efforts remain ongoing across the region.
We are also currently experiencing some train delays due to high winds across portions of our Northern Transcon route between Havre and Whitefish, Montana. Some locations in the area reported gusts of nearly 90 miles per hour yesterday afternoon. High wind warnings remain in effect through much of today with winds expected to decrease by this evening.
Overall velocity for cars and trains improved versus the Christmas week. The number of trains holding increased briefly during the Christmas and New Year's holidays but has been significantly reduced in the past few days. We expect to generate improved performance as we move into the first full week of 2019.
Service Expectations for the Week Ahead
An active weather pattern will persist for the West Coast, which will bring strong winds, periods of heavy rain and mountain snows to portions of the Pacific Northwest as well as northern California through mid-week. BNSF teams will be monitoring this latest series of storms and are ready to quickly respond to any service disruptions caused by severe weather.
Favorable operating conditions are expected in most other areas of the network. Across our South Region, which includes locations along the Southern Transcon from Los Angeles to Chicago, no significant winter storm events are expected during the next several days.
Below is a look at the key operational performance categories for the week ending January 3:
Total trains held for the week decreased by nearly 47 percent with an average of 118.1 trains held versus 222.6 trains held during the prior week.
Versus the January 2018 average: up by 29.7%
Total trains on the system was essentially unchanged versus the prior week with an average of 1,402 trains on the system.
Versus the January 2018 average: down by 1.0%
Car velocity, measured in miles per day (MPD), was up by more than two percent at 186.9 MPD versus 182.5 MPD recorded the prior week.
Versus the January 2018 average: down by 16.8%
Train velocity, measured in miles per hour (MPH), was up by more than four percent versus the prior week at 16.7 MPH.
Versus the January 2018 average: down by 13.9%
Total volume was down by nearly 23 percent from the prior week with 164,258 units moved in Week 52 (ending December 29, which includes the Christmas holiday) versus 213,293 units in Week 51 (ending December 22).
Terminal dwell was down by more than nine percent versus the prior week at 27.1 hours.
Versus the January 2018 average: up by 8.1%
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.