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BNSF Railway Co. has committed to investing a record $247 million in infrastructure improvements in North Dakota, U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) announced late last week.The commitment follows the senator’s repeated calls to BNSF to address concerns regarding rail safety, agriculture shipment delays and Amtrak service disruptions in the state, Heitkamp said in a press release. The targeted capital investments are part of the railroad’s system-wide infrastructure plan and will help expand capacity in North Dakota to alleviate congestion, BNSF officials said.The railroad plans to spend:• $162 million to double track its line from Minot, N.D., to Glasgow, Mont., to help address major congestion issues for westbound traffic to Pacific Northwest destinations;• $26 million to add sidings to address congestion from Fargo to Grand Forks, N.D., in the Hillsboro subdivision;• $14 million to add sidings to address congestion from Bismarck, N.D., to Glendive, Mont., in the Dickinson subdivision;• $13 million to add sidings to address congestion from Minot to Grand Forks in the Devils Lake subdivision;• $13 million to add sidings and an interchange track to address congestion from Canada into the United States through the Port of Pembina in the Noyes subdivision;• $11 million to install Centralized Traffic Control to improve service from Bismarck to Fargo in the Jamestown subdivision; and• $8 million to add sidings and conduct signal work along track from Fargo to Minot in the KO subdivision.The $247 million is part of BNSF's record-setting $5 billion capital spending budget for 2014."Our investments of capital in expansion and maintenance in North Dakota will be a critical part of efficiently, and safely, facilitating the growth from the state, in particular, crude and agriculture, and growth elsewhere on the network," said BNSF President and Chief Executive Officer Carl Ice.
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