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Rail News: BNSF Railway

BNSF boosts 2011 capex budget to $3.8 billion, summarizes 2Q financial results


BNSF Railway Co. senior executives anticipate that capital expenditures for 2011 will increase about $300 million to $3.8 billion compared with an annual capex budget announced in February, according to a 10Q form posted on the Class I’s website. BNSF’s capex budget in 2010 was $2.7 billion.

“The increase is due to increased capital projects resulting from severe flooding conditions on our network and the acceleration of other projects that will utilize economic stimulus incentives, which provide favorable tax treatment,” BNSF officials wrote in the form.

The Class I plans to spend about $2 billion this year to maintain the core network and related assets, as well as continue investing in the locomotive and rail-car fleets, and projects designed to expand and improve infrastructure, they wrote. BNSF also plans to spend about $300 million this year to continue installing positive train control equipment.

In an overview of second-quarter financial performance, BNSF senior execs also released the following 2Q results: total revenue jumped 17 percent to $4.8 billion, operating income rose 11 percent to $1.2 billion, net income increased 14 percent to $690 million, operating expenses climbed 19 percent to $3.6 billion and the operating ratio went up 1.3 points to 74.4 compared with second-quarter 2010 figures.

The revenue gain primarily was driven by increased volumes (traffic rose 4 percent to 2.3 million units), higher fuel surcharges due to increased fuel prices and improved yields, the execs wrote. Consumer products revenue jumped 22 percent to $1.5 billion, agricultural products revenue climbed 18 percent to $926 million, coal revenue rose 13 percent to $1.2 billion and industrial products revenue increased 13 percent to $1 billion.

In terms of operating expenses, fuel costs soared 43 percent to $1.1 billion as the locomotive fuel price per gallon rose to $3.33 vs. second-quarter 2010’s $2.33. Compensation and benefit costs increased 10 percent to $1.1 billion and purchased services costs rose 7 percent to $549 million.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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