BNSF - Inspection and Detection

Inspection and Detection

To help ensure the safety of our tracks and bridges, our routes are routinely inspected by over 650 trained and experienced track inspectors. In addition, our inspection vehicles use lasers to precisely measure track geometry and ultrasound to inspect rails for internal defects. Three vehicles also test track strength on branch lines, sidings and yards. Unmanned aerial vehicles and special railcars are also used to test track and detect flaws.

BNSF’s extensive network of wayside detectors measures conditions of each passing freight car, so that we can identify unnecessary stressors on the wheels or other equipment and prevent potential equipment failures.

Our Network Operations Center in Fort Worth works with WeatherData Services, Inc., to obtain advance warnings of adverse weather that might affect our rail operations. The center also has a direct link to the California Institute of Technology for real-time updates about earthquake activity to ensure the safety of our operation and employees.