Recovery efforts are ongoing as BNSF teams are making progress in restoring normal operations following a round of winter weather. The extreme cold experienced this week across our North Region, with temperatures dropping twenty below zero in some areas, as well as extended periods of freezing rain and ice in Oklahoma and Texas, caused a range of service challenges, including train delays and reduced speeds.
Train length restrictions will be lifted today as temperatures moderate in the affected regions. When operating in cold weather conditions, train length restrictions and distributed locomotive power are helpful to trains’ braking system performance. To further assist in BNSF train operations, especially in cold environments, BNSF has petitioned the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to increase the maximum air flow limits in train braking systems. While the FRA is still reviewing this petition, approval of these tested and safely proven airflow limits would reduce long and unnecessary train stops, help with train length restrictions and allow BNSF to maintain better traffic flows during winter operations.
Our key service metrics reflect this extreme weather with lower car velocity and increased dwell versus the previous week. Local service compliance, which reflects our efficiency in handling carload freight, improved and continues to exceed 90%.
SERVICE EXPECTATIONS FOR THE WEEK AHEAD
Current forecasts indicate no outbreak of Arctic cold next week as temperatures reach closer to normal levels for this time of year. With more favorable operating conditions, we expect to generate a gradual improvement in service performance.
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.