Shipping News Alert: New Snow Storm Affecting Midwest Rail

 In International Shipping, shipping news, Shipping News Alert

This is an update from BNSF Railway.

Shipping News AlertA new storm system with expected snowfall levels of 5 to 10 inches is moving across the Midwest, affecting BNSF territories in Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Colorado. The storm system began Monday, February 3, and is expected to continue through the week.

This storm system is slowing switching, rail and hub operations throughout the Midwest and into Chicago. The added challenge of extreme subzero temperatures across BNSF northern routes will adversely affect arrivals, departures and train sizes between Chicago and the Pacific Northwest.

Actions taken:

  • Last week, the Chicago Transportation Coordination Office – all U.S. and Canadian Class I railroad representatives – met with Chicago rail and switch carriers about ongoing “Alert Level 3” conditions.
  • We identified levers for all types of rail business coordination (including but not limited to intermodal), including train blocking, right-sizing interchanges for maximum throughput, diverting traffic to alternate gateways, adjusting frequency of deliveries to match capabilities, etc.

24-hour command center operations continue to focus on:

  • Redistributing traffic between BNSF intermodal facilities.
  • Coordinating with our connecting eastern carriers to use alternate gateways instead of normal Chicago interchange points.
  • Maintaining elevated levels of personnel in supervisory and field hubs, operations, and engineering.

While progress has been made at all BNSF Chicago facilities since last week -noted by improvements in outbound units pending loading, inbound units pending de-ramp, and overall terminal inventory levels – normal operations and service levels have not been fully restored. The current storm system noted above is expected to delay progress toward full recovery.

We recognize the severe impact that current conditions are having on our customers and we are committed to restoring service levels as quickly as possible.

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