The operation is handling robust volumes as traffic flows have returned to normal levels heading into December. Following the Thanksgiving holiday, BNSF operating teams confronted a major winter storm which caused multiple service interruptions and train delays in the Chicago area. The near-record November snowstorm dropped more than a foot of snow and caused power outages in several locations along our main line between Galesburg and Chicago.
Service challenges associated with the Chicago storm, as well as from the holiday, impacted average car and train velocity, with each down by a few percentage points versus the prior week. The number of total trains held increased briefly through Thanksgiving, however, it has been reduced consistently this week.
Service Expectations for the Week Ahead
Another potent winter storm is poised to impact areas of the northern Plains through this weekend. Winter storm watches and warnings are currently in effect with blizzard conditions expected across large portions of South Dakota and Nebraska, which may cause some train delays. Severe weather is also possible later today and tonight through the Mississippi Valley.
BNSF teams are actively monitoring conditions across the network as additional resources, including personnel and equipment, were pre-positioned in some areas. In accordance with winter action plans, each of our operating divisions is prepared to implement procedures to minimize any service disruptions caused by severe weather.
Below is a look at the key operational performance categories for the week ending November 29:
Total trains held for the week increased by nearly 11 percent with an average of 157.0 trains held versus 142.0 trains held during the prior week.
Versus the November 2017 average: up by 79.4%
Total trains on the system was down by nearly four percent versus the prior week with an average of 1,517 trains on the system.
Versus the November 2017 average: up by 1.6%
Car velocity, measured in miles per day (MPD), was down by more than one percent at 197.5 MPD versus 200.0 MPD recorded the prior week.
Versus the November 2017 average: down by 13.0%
Train velocity, measured in miles per hour (MPH), was down by nearly four percent versus the prior week at 16.6 MPH.
Versus the November 2017 average: down by 13.3%
Total volume was down by nearly 11 percent from the prior week with 187,426 units moved in Week 47 (ending November 24, which includes the Thanksgiving holiday) versus 210,013 units in Week 46 (ending November 17).
Terminal dwell was up by nearly four percent versus the prior week at 27.8 hours.
Versus the November 2017 average: up by 15.5%
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.