Tracking the speed, dwell and cars of Class I railroads

This interactive page shows key information about Class I railroads in the US. It displays the average speed of trains while moving, average dwell time in a yard waiting to be switched or unloaded, and the number of cars in service. You can select the figures for each Class I rail, and the time shown on the graphs, start and end.

The data comes from the Surface Transportation Board compilation of data provided by the railroads themselves, and is probably a bit late due to the deadlines for submitting figures.

The graph of speed for BNSF is especially interesting. It shows a recent spectacular jump, from under 25 mph to over 26 mph. Clearly the message is getting through to rails that they’d better move cargo.

Dwell time, spent sitting in yards waiting to be switched on, has for BNSF been rising recently, pointing to a new bottleneck. It had better start working on these problems.

We also don’t see which particular sites or segments of the rail line are contributing to the changes in the figures. That’s for each rail to figure out and make corrections. But seeing an overview of what’s going on will provide motivation for rails to do their part to keep congestion down. And a rail does not want to be perceived as slow-moving, for sure.

I hope we can count on the authors to keep updating this page, so the visibility will provide an incentive for rails to improve.

By Matt Leonard and Nami Sumida Updated December 6, 2021


One response to “Tracking the speed, dwell and cars of Class I railroads

  1. Pingback: Tracking the speed, dwell and cars of Class I railroads

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