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Rail News: BNSF Railway

BNSF to add more workers and locomotives in 2014, Ice says

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.

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