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BNSF Railway Co. announced yesterday that plant construction and upgrade investments made by its customers in 2018 totaled nearly $3 billion.Last year marked the eighth consecutive year that BNSF customers and local economic development organizations have invested more than $1 billion in a calendar year for new or expanded facilities, according to a BNSF press release.The $3 billion figure reflects several large investments by customers, including Kubota Tractor Corp., WinChill, Dolese Bros. Co. and Dakota Plains. The amount invested is expected to generate about 1,400 new jobs in local communities, BNSF officials said."Customer investments of this scale emphasize how our rail network can be an integral part of a creative transportation solution for a wide variety of businesses and industries," said Colby Tanner, the Class I's assistant vice president of economic development. "BNSF works tirelessly to help make locating on or near rail a quick and painless process."In 2018, the new developments supported such commodities as agriculture, consumer products, frozen meat, sand, aggregates and paper in more than 100 communities across BNSF's network. Examples of supply chain solutions that BNSF helped customers achieve last year include:• Kubota, which invested $87 million to add 1 million square feet to an existing distribution center at Logistics Park Kansas City;• Dakota Plains, which opened a $40 million corn shuttle facility in Napa Junction, South Dakota;• WinChill's 326,00-square-foot cold storage facility at Sioux Falls Foundation Park, a BNSF "Certified Site" in South Dakota; and• Dolese Bros., which invested $35 million into the White Eagle sand facility that has a loop track capacity for 123 rail cars. The facility currently can load a 93-car unit train in less than four hours.
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