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Rail News: BNSF Railway

Congestion prompts BNSF to limit certain California-bound shipments


BNSF Railway Co. announced yesterday that in response to ongoing service challenges, it will issue a temporary permit embargo on certain westbound shipments heading for California.

In a customer service notice posted on its website, BNSF said the embargo will impact automotive shipments as well as specific agricultural and industrial commodities. Intermodal shipments being managed through alternate means are not part of the embargo, the advisory states.

"We have experienced a sharp increase in congestion throughout Southern California during the past few weeks due to several high-wind events concurrent with the high levels of traffic seeking to move through the region," BNSF officials explained. 

In addition, flash flooding on the main tracks of BNSF's Southern Transcon line caused a service outage this week near Laguna, New Mexico, the Class I reported. The outage resulted in temporary speed restrictions.

"The resulting impacts have affected our ability to effectively align resources with freight volumes, particularly the efficient utilization of train crews in the region," the advisory states. "While this embargo action will lead to some additional disruption to our affected customers in the short term, we are confident that this aggressive measure will provide the additional capacity needed to recover velocity and improve cycle times more quickly, as well as assist with resource availability."

The embargo will begin June 27 for waybills with a shipping date of June 29, and is scheduled to expire on July 31. For the first week (June 29 to July 5), BNSF will consider issuing permits to embargoed destinations for certain commodities.

To read BNSF's full advisory, click here.