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BNSF Railway Co. yesterday named Farmrail System Inc. as its "Short Line of the Year" at the Class I's annual short-line conference.A holding company for Grainbelt Corp. and Farmrail Corp., Farmrail System was recognized for its "entrepreneurial spirit and diligence in attracting new customers," BNSF officials said in a press release."In less than one month, Farmrail was able to replace 8,400 cross ties and more than 10,000 tons of ballast to revitalize a siding and capture new business," said Merril Lieb, BNSF's assistant vice president short-line development.Located near the Anadarko Basin hydrocarbon reserve situated in western Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle, the Farmrail System primarily moves agricultural products, frac sand and other supplies for hydraulic fracturing. In 2016, Farmrail hauled 24.8 percent more than in the previous year. It was the third record-setting year in the company's history."We are always looking for innovative ways to attract new business and keep freight moving for our customers," said Farmrail System President and General Manager Judy Petry. "This year, we’ve brought on three new customers, and see continued growth across the industries we serve."Also at this year's conference, BNSF gave special recognition to Minnesota Northern Railroad for "consistently providing quality service" to customers along the short line's 125 miles of track in northwestern Minnesota.Minnesota Northern hauls primarily agricultural products. From 2015 to 2016, the short line increased the number of unit train originations by nearly 61 percent. It also played a key role in developing a new shuttle facility in Beltrami, Minnesota, BNSF officials said.
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