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BNSF Railway Co. yesterday announced details about major track maintenance and capacity expansion projects that are part of its record-setting $6 billion capital spending budget for 2015.Overall, the railroad plans to spend $2.9 billion this year to renew and maintain assets, and $1.5 billion on expansion projects. The 2015 capital maintenance program calls for completing 270 bridge projects, laying 950 miles of relay rail, installing 3.5 million ties, and performing ballast, undercutting and/or surfacing work on 21,600 miles of track."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 BNSF President and Chief Executive Officer Carl Ice in a press release. "These unprecedented capital investments demonstrate to our customers how deeply committed we are to building a prosperous future for all of us."In its North Region, BNSF plans to spend $1.5 billion on infrastructure maintenance and capacity expansion projects in eight states, of which about $700 million is allocated for projects designed to expand lines and implement positive train control (PTC). The region has experienced the most rapid growth in recent years and accommodates the movements of agricultural products and coal to export facilities in the Pacific Northwest, petroleum products to refineries, and consumer products to and from Pacific Northwest ports, BNSF officials said. The region also is a destination point for materials that support the production of crude oil in the Bakken Shale. Planned expansion projects in the region — which covers Illinois, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin — include:• the continued installation of double track in the Glasgow Subdivision between Minot, N.D., and Snowden, Mont.;• a siding extension in the Dickinson Subdivision between Mandan, N.D., and Glendive, Mont., and a terminal expansion at Dickinson yard to accommodate expected growth in single-car volumes; • the conversion of the entire Devils Lake Subdivision between Minot and Grand Forks, N.D., to centralized train control (CTC) to increase capacity for freight operations and improve on-time performance for passenger trains; and• the completion of CTC installation in the Hillsboro Subdivision in eastern North Dakota.In the South Region, BNSF plans to spend $800 million on infrastructure maintenance and capacity expansion projects in nine states, of which $175 million is allocated for line expansion initiatives and continued implementation of PTC. The region includes the railroad's more than 2,000-mile, high-speed transcontinental route that's used to move freight from West Coast ports to interchange facilities in Chicago, as well as major terminals in Kansas City, Mo., Fort Worth, Texas, Denver and St. Louis.Planned expansion projects in the region — which covers Arizona, Arkansas, California, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas — include:• the connection of two sidings in the Mojave Subdivision, which runs from Bakersfield to Mojave, Calif., to create a short double-track segment;• the construction of double track in the Panhandle Subdivision between Wellington and Avard, Okla.; and• the construction of double track in the Clovis Subdivision between Belen and Clovis, N.M.In the Central Region, BNSF plans to spend $650 million on infrastructure maintenance and capacity expansion projects in six states, of which $260 million is allocated for line expansion projects and the continued implementation of PTC. Covering Alabama, Colorado, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska and Wyoming, the region primarily is used for coal movements.Planned expansion projects in the region include the construction of two new sidings on the northern and southern ends of the Hannibal Subdivision in western Illinois, the construction of two double-track segments in the Ravenna Subdivision in Nebraska and the extension of sidings at six locations in the Brush Subdivision east of Denver.
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