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Rail News: BNSF Railway

BNSF, Tacoma Rail forge locomotive servicing pact


BNSF Railway Co. and Tacoma Rail recently reached an agreement through which the short line will refuel and perform minor maintenance work on the Class I's locomotives serving the Port of Tacoma, Wash.

The short line has provided similar services to Union Pacific Railroad for several years. The services provided to BNSF will enable its locomotives to resume their transcontinental runs more quickly.

The new maintenance and fueling contract could shave one to three hours from the turnaround time for BNSF trains departing the port for points in the Midwest, according to Tacoma Rail Superintendent and Chief Operating Officer Dale King.

The Class I's locomotives previously were disconnected from trains at the port and serviced at a nearby BNSF facility. The work now will be performed by Tacoma Rail at its Tideflats yard. The short line services about 60 locomotives per week and might service as many as 90 at some point as port traffic increases.

Tacoma Rail began a trial period with BNSF locomotives Aug. 1 and received final approval on the agreement from the Tacoma Public Utilities' Public Utility Board Aug. 27, King said in an email. Tacoma Public Utilities owns Tacoma Rail, which operates about 200 miles of track in the Tacoma and Olympia, Wash., areas.

The short line plans to soon hire three employees to accommodate the BNSF locomotive servicing work.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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