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BNSF to spend $460M on rail upgrades

Aug 20, 2013 | 04:34 PM |

Tags  BNSF Railway, capital projects, oil and gas, coal, automotive, tracks, terminals, locomotives rail cars

CHICAGO — BNSF Railway Co. plans to invest an estimated $460 million this year on various projects in Montana, North Dakota and Washington to better serve freight markets such as automobiles, coal and oil and gas.

BNSF will spend about $115 million on maintenance and capacity expansions in Montana to build three unit-train staging tracks near Glasgow and install machine vision technology at Miles City to help detect damaged equipment. The railroad also is surfacing more than 2,300 miles of track and performing undercutting work, replacing 100 miles of rail and 310,000 ties.

Fort Worth, Texas-based BNSF will spend $220 million in North Dakota to build, extend and improve sidings; raise 10 miles of track over a lake; upgrade a line along the Canadian border; lengthen tracks or add new tracks at three rail yards; and surface 1,900 miles of track, replacing 315 miles of rail and 415,000 ties.

BNSF’s $125 million in capacity enhancements in Washington include building two receiving and departure tracks at its Everett yard and expanding its automotive distribution facility at Orillia. The railroad also will continue maintenance work across 2,800 miles of track in the state, including surfacing and undercutting work, replacing about 175 miles of rail and 110,000 railroad ties.

The capital investments planned in the three states are part of BNSF’s 2013 capital commitment of $4.3 billion, which includes spending $2.3 billion on the core network and related assets, $1 billion on locomotive, freight car and other equipment acquisitions, $200 million for mandated control technology and $800 million for terminal, line and intermodal expansion and efficiency projects.

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