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Rail News: BNSF Railway

BNSF set industrial development records in 2012

BNSF Railway Co.'s economic development team last year worked with customers and state and local economic development organizations to attract 194 new plants and facility expansions along the Class I's network. The industrial projects generated about $1.8 billion in new investments and created 6,200 new jobs in 23 states.

The industrial development efforts led to rail equipment manufacturing projects in Fort Worth, Texas, and Rochelle, Ill., and 44 projects that will support the agricultural industry in 12 states, including 10 new grain shuttle facilities. It was a record year for economic development, BNSF officials said in a prepared statement.

"We broke our all-time job creation and project completion records, and attained the second-highest level of customer investment in our service territory," said Vann Cunningham, BNSF's assistant vice president of economic development. "This is a testament to the economic development potential of rail transportation, its growing importance to the nation's economy, and the commitment of our partner state and local economic development organizations to supporting rail-served industry investment and job creation in their communities."

Expanding oil and gas production at various shales continued to be a major driver of industrial development projects. Last year, the economic development team helped customers locate and complete five new crude oil unit train terminals in North Dakota and Montana, and several new destination crude oil facilities in Florida, Missouri, Texas and Washington. The total investments surpassed $300 million, BNSF officials said.

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