FORT WORTH, TEXAS -BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) today announced that its 2015 capital program for its operations in Minnesota will be more than last year’s investment with an estimated $326 million for key rail capacity improvement projects and a robust maintenance program. Unlike other modes of freight transportation, U.S. railroads own and maintain their own networks. To ensure BNSF’s network operates at optimal efficiency, each year the company allocates capital for infrastructure and expansion projects that will enable it to serve the growing needs of customers from a broad cross section of the economy.
“This year’s substantial investments in Minnesota are a clear reflection of how important our operations in the state are to our overall network and our unwavering commitment to always operating safely – for our people and the communities in which we operate,” said Tom Albanese, BNSF general manager operations Twin Cities Division. “We know our customers are competing in a fast-paced, global economy where a smooth, efficient supply chain can be the difference between winning and losing in the marketplace. This year’s planned expansion and maintenance projects will help give BNSF the capacity flexibility it needs to support our customers’ growing demands and connect Minnesota products to key markets as well as benefit Northstar and Amtrak, which operate on our network.”
BNSF’s 2015 capital projects in Minnesota include:
- Constructing double track segments from Big Lake to Becker and from Little Falls to Darling totaling 13 miles, as well as starting to grade for a double track project from Randall to Lincoln to be completed in 2016.
- Installing Centralized Traffic Control (CTC) signaling projects along the Monticello, Staples and St. Croix subdivisions. A CTC system helps manage rail traffic by improving train flows and efficiency.
- Constructing a two-mile double track segment from Minneapolis Junction to St. Anthony.
- Converting a section of track in the Dayton’s Bluff area of St. Paul to a third main line track.
- Building a new train siding along the Noyes subdivision to enable trains on the same line to pass resulting in better train flows.
Continuous maintenance of BNSF’s infrastructure ensures an optimized, safe and reliable network. Maintaining the railroad is important for keeping it in optimal condition and helps limit the need for unscheduled service outages that can slow down the rail network and reduce capacity. BNSF’s maintenance program in Minnesota will include 269 miles of track surfacing and undercutting work, replacement of 125 miles of rail and about 427,000 ties, as well as signal upgrades for federally-mandated positive train control (PTC).
The planned capital investments in Minnesota are part of BNSF’s record 2015 capital commitment of $6 billion, which was announced last November and is the company’s largest planned capital expenditure in its history. These 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 $1.4 billion for locomotives, freight cars and other equipment acquisitions.
BNSF Railway is one of North America’s leading freight transportation companies operating on 32,500 route miles of track in 28 states, and also operates in three Canadian provinces. BNSF is one of the top transporters of consumer goods, grain and agricultural products, low-sulfur coal, and industrial goods such as petroleum, chemicals, housing materials, food and beverages. BNSF’s shipments help feed, clothe, supply, and power American homes and businesses every day. BNSF and its employees have developed one of the most technologically advanced, and efficient railroads in the industry. We work continuously to improve the value of the safety, service, energy, and environmental benefits we provide to our customers and the communities we serve. You can learn more about BNSF at www.BNSF.com.