FORT WORTH, TEXAS, February 11, 2015:
BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) today announced that its 2015 capital program for its operations in North Dakota will be an estimated $326 million for rail capacity improvement projects and maintenance. 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 North Dakota 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 North Dakota products to key markets as well as benefit Amtrak’s Empire Builder, which operates on our network in the state.”
BNSF’s 2015 capital projects in North Dakota include:
- Continuing the construction of double track along the Glasgow subdivision between Minot and Williston totaling 37 miles.
- Installing Centralized Traffic Control (CTC) signaling projects along the Devils Lake, Dickinson, Hillsboro and Jamestown subdivisions, which will improve capacity for freight operations while improving on-time performance of passenger trains. A CTC system helps manage rail traffic improving train flows and efficiency.
- Upgrading the connection track between the Hillsboro and Devils Lake subdivisions.
- Extending the siding along the Dickinson subdivision located between Mandan ND, and Glendive MT, enabling trains on the same line to pass resulting in better train flows.
- Expanding the capacity and classification capability of the Dickinson Yard to accommodate expected growth in single car volumes.
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 North Dakota will include 1,164 miles of track surfacing and undercutting work, and the replacement of close to 97 miles of rail and about 393,500 ties as well as signal upgrades for federally mandated positive train control (PTC).
The planned capital investments in North Dakota 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.
"This year’s substantial investments in North Dakota 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."