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BNSF rolls out 2016 capex plans for California, Montana, North Dakota


BNSF Railway Co. this week announced $460 million in capital expenditures planned for its network this year in the states of California, Montana and North Dakota.

The announcements are the latest to be rolled out in recent weeks as the Class I details its $4.3 billion network-wide capex program for 2016. The spending will be on maintenance projects that improve safety and expand capacity of BNSF's network, company officials said in press releases.

In California, BNSF will invest $180 million on the maintenance program, which includes 1,100 miles of track surfacing and/or undercutting work; the replacement of 35 miles of rail and more than 70,000 ties; and signal upgrades required for the implementation of the federally mandated positive train control (PTC) program.

Over the past three years, BNSF has spent $600 million on its California network. Other capital projects in the state include adding more parking capacity to the San Bernardino automotive and intermodal facilities, and the start of a project to construct more track for loading and unloading containers at the Stockton Intermodal Facility.

In Montana, BNSF will spend $180 million on a maintenance program that includes more than 950 miles of track surfacing and/or undercutting work; the replacement of 120 miles of rail and 280,000 ties; and PTC-related signal upgrades.

This year's Montana capex projects also include installing a centralized traffic control (CTC) signaling project and a siding extension on the Dickinson Subdivision between Glendive and Wibaux, Mont., as well as extending three sidings and installing CTC along the Forsyth Subdivision. Those projects will help manage rail traffic while improving train flows, BNSF officials said.

Over the past three years, BNSF has spent $500 million on its Montana network.

For North Dakota, BNSF announced a $100 million maintenance program in 2016, which will include replacing 55 miles of track and 240,000 ties, and upgrading signaling for PTC. In addition, the Class I will continue installing CTC signals along the along the Dickinson and Jamestown subdivisions. BNSF has invested more than $1.1 billion on its North Dakota network over the past three years.

The railroad's network-wide capex program for 2016 will include $2.8 billion to replace and maintain core network and related assets; $500 million on expansion and efficiency projects; $300 million on PTC implementation; and $600 million on locomotives.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/4/2016