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BNSF Railway Co. plans to hire 5,000 workers this year, President and Chief Executive Officer Carl Ice said during a CNBC interview yesterday.The new hires will be spread across the organization, but a large number will become train crew members, said Ice, who became BNSF's top executive on Jan. 1. At February's end, BNSF employed 44,046 people compared with 41,136 a year earlier, according to Surface Transportation Board employment data.BNSF also plans to add 500 locomotives this year, in addition to 5,000 next-generation tank cars that will be purchased to haul crude oil from the Bakken Shale and other shale plays. The Class I announced the planned tank-car purchase in late February.The U.S. economy is showing broad-based growth, said Ice. There was a surge in shipments of certain commodities — such as grain, crude and coal — in the fourth quarter, but severe winter weather has slowed traffic-growth momentum in the early part of 2014, he said.