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Rail News: BNSF Railway

BNSF increases annual capital spending budget 10 percent to $2.4 billion


For the second-straight year, BNSF Railway Co. plans to spend about $400 million to expand track capacity and improve facilities for coal, agricultural products, industrial products and intermodal traffic. The budget is part of the Class I’s 2006 capital spending program of $2.4 billion, a 10 percent increase compared with 2005.

BNSF plans to spend more than $1.4 billion — a $100 million increase compared with 2005 — to replace track, signal systems and structures, rebuild rolling stock and implement technology. The railroad also will invest about $550 million to acquire 310 locomotives.

To expand capacity, BNSF plans to:
• double- or triple-track another 40 miles on the southern Transcon line and start constructing a second mainline across Abo Canyon (scheduled for completion in 2007);
• expand its Lincoln, Neb., yard, and add about 50 miles of double- and triple-track on the Powder River Basin Joint Line and in Nebraska to accommodate increasing coal traffic;
• expand intermodal facilities in California, Illinois, Minnesota, Tennessee, Texas and Washington;
• extend sidings in Texas, Washington and British Columbia; and
• expand and improve fueling facilities in Illinois, Nebraska, New Mexico and Texas.

“We are increasing our capital investment program to meet anticipated future volumes because we are confident that our return on invested capital (ROIC) will continue to improve,” said BNSF Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Matthew Rose in a prepared statement, adding that ROIC was 10.1 percent in 2005, 7.9 percent in 2004 and 6.6 percent in 2003.

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More News from 1/25/2006