BNSF Invests Across its Regions to Expand Capacity and Maintain Vast Network
BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) recently announced more details about the major capital projects it plans to complete in 2015 to maintain and grow its rail network.
In BNSF’s North Region, the company will invest approximately $1.5 billion across eight states for engineering maintenance and line expansion projects, of which approximately $700 million* is planned for projects to expand the rail lines and Positive Train Control (PTC) in that region. BNSF’s North Region has experienced the most rapid growth in recent years. It is the corridor used to move agriculture and coal to export facilities in the Pacific Northwest, petroleum products produced in the region that are destined for refinery facilities, and for consumer products shipped to and from marine ports in the Pacific Northwest. The North Region is also a destination point for materials that support the production of crude oil in the Bakken shale formation.
In BNSF’s South Region, the railroad plans to spend approximately $800 million in nine states for engineering maintenance and line expansion projects, of which $175 million is planned for line expansion initiatives and continued implementation of PTC. The South Region includes BNSF’s high-speed transcontinental route with more than 2,000 miles of double track that allows customers to move freight from West Coast marine ports to interchange facilities in Chicago as well as major rail terminals in Kansas City, Fort Worth, Denver and St. Louis.
In the Central Region, primarily used for the movement of coal, BNSF will invest approximately $650 million across six states for engineering maintenance and line expansion projects, of which almost $260 million is planned for line expansion projects and continued implementation of PTC.
“Building on the 2014 capacity increases, we will continue investing in our railroad to make us ever more capable of getting agriculture, energy supplies and a wide range of consumer and industrial products where they want to go,” said Carl Ice, BNSF president and chief executive officer. “At BNSF, we believe strongly in working with our customers to help them supply the world with food, energy and products that grow and build our economy. These unprecedented capital investments demonstrate to our customers how deeply committed we are to building a prosperous future for all of us.”
Highlights of BNSF’s planned capital investments in the company’s three operating regions are as follows:
BNSF plans to invest approximately $700 million in the North Region to expand rail capacity and continue the implementation of PTC technology. The North Region includes: Illinois, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin.
Expansion projects include:
- Continue to install double track on the Glasgow subdivision between Minot, ND, and Snowden, MT, located in the far western part of the state.
- Extend the siding on the Dickinson subdivision located between Mandan, ND, and Glendive, MT, and expand the terminal at the Dickinson yard to accommodate expected growth in single car volumes.
- Convert the entire Devils Lake subdivision, located between Minot, ND, and Grand Forks, ND, to centralized traffic control, which will improve capacity for freight operation while improving on-time performance of passenger trains.
- Complete implementation of centralized traffic control on the Hillsboro subdivision, located in eastern North Dakota. Upgrade connection track between the Hillsboro subdivision and the Devils Lake subdivision to permit faster train speeds.
BNSF plans to invest approximately $175 million to expand rail capacity in the South Region and continue the implementation of PTC technology. The South Region includes: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
Expansion projects include:
- Connect two sidings on the Mojave subdivision, which runs from Bakersfield, CA, to Mojave, CA, to create a short double track segment that will increase capacity.
- Construct double track on the Panhandle subdivision located between Wellington and Avard, OK, to improve Southern Transcon capacity.
- Construct double track on the Clovis subdivision located between Belen and Clovis, NM, to improve Southern Transcon capacity.
BNSF plans to invest approximately $260 million to expand rail capacity and continue the implementation of PTC technology. The Central Region includes: Alabama, Colorado, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska and Wyoming.
Expansion projects include:
- Construct two new sidings on the northern and southern ends of the Hannibal subdivision located in western Illinois.
- Construct two double track segments on the Ravenna subdivision, located in Nebraska, which will greatly improve capacity on this heavily-trafficked coal route.
- Extend sidings at six locations on the Brush subdivision, located east of Denver, to improve the velocity of southern coal flows.
These planned capital investments are part of BNSF’s 2015 capital plan of $6 billion, which was announced last November and is the company’s largest planned capital expenditure in its history. The investments include $2.9 billion to replace and maintain core network and related assets, nearly $1.5 billion on expansion and efficiency projects, $200 million for continued implementation of PTC and about $1.4 billion for locomotives, freight cars and other equipment acquisitions.
For more details about the planned projects for 2015, please see the map located on bnsf.com.
* Illinois is included in the disclosure of the planned expenditure for the North Region despite the state being part of the company’s South Region. In this announcement Illinois was included in the North Region because the Chicago complex also serves as an origination and destination point for traffic along that corridor. Illinois was also included in the North Region reporting when BNSF’s 2014 capital expenditure was announced in the prior year.
Projects presented are the BNSF capital projects as of this date; changes may be made to the projects throughout the year. BNSF undertakes no obligation to update these planned expenses in the future.