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Rail News: BNSF Railway

BNSF outlines capex plans for California, New Mexico and Texas


BNSF Railway Co. yesterday unveiled its 2019 capital expenditure plans for California, New Mexico and Texas.

In Texas, the Class I will spend $405 million for expansion work that will include a new double track to be constructed between the Alliance Intermodal Facility in Fort Worth and Cleburne, as well as two new sidings in the Madill Subdivision north of Dallas.

Also in that subdivision, BNSF will install centralized traffic control. At its Eagle Pass border gateway, new staging tracks are planned to handle growth into Mexico. A multiyear facility expansion is slated for the Alliance facility, which includes the construction of new production tracks and incremental parking stalls, as well as acquiring lift equipment, BNSF officials said in a press release.

"We operate on nearly 5,000 miles of track in Texas," said Janssen Thompson, general manager of operations, Red River Division. "Our continued capital investments in this state reflect our continued commitment to enhancing the safety, capacity and fluidity of our railroad and enable us to meet our customers’ freight transportation needs."

Meanwhile, BNSF has budgeted $245 million for several scheduled maintenance and capacity expansion projects in California. Projects will include more than 600 miles of track surfacing and/or undercutting work, as well as the replacement of 35 miles of rail and about 70,000 ties.

Since 2014, the Class I has invested more than $1 billion to expand and maintain its network in California. This year, BNSF will enhance capacity through the city of Needles by adding 4 miles of quadruple main track. In support of volume growth in Southern California, BNSF plans to develop incremental lift capacity at Barstow by constructing new production tracks and parking stalls, as well as acquiring lift equipment, railroad officials said.

"With intermodal facilities in nine California cities that connect West Coast ports to major U.S. markets, the state is crucial to the success of BNSF's rail network," said Donnie Stilwell, general manager of operations, California Division.

And in New Mexico, BNSF plans to invest $80 million to replace and upgrade main track components. Projects will include more than 850 miles of track surfacing and/or undercutting work, as well as the replacement of 20 miles of rail and more than 200,000 ties. In the Clovis Subdivision in Belen, BNSF will begin extending its quadruple main tracks to enhance capacity along the Southern Transcon route, which is the Class I's primary route for the intermodal franchise.

BNSF moves nearly 4.5 million carloads annually along its lines in New Mexico.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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