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Rail News: BNSF Railway

BNSF sets traffic and revenue records, reduces operating ratio in 2005


For BNSF Railway Co., 2005 was a year of firsts. The railroad moved more than 10 million traffic loads and earned more than $12.9 billion in revenue — a 19 percent increase compared with 2004 — for the first time.

“Since mid-2003, BNSF has been handling unprecedented volumes in response to strong customer demand for rail service,” said BNSF Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Matthew Rose in a prepared statement.

In addition, the Class I’s annual net income of $1.5 billion doubled the previous year’s $791 million, and operating income of $2.9 billion rose 75 percent and operating ratio of 76.8 improved 7.5 points compared with 2004. Total annual operating expenses of $10 billion rose 8 percent.

During the fourth quarter, BNSF’s freight revenue increased 18 percent to $3.5 billion compared with the same 2004 period. The railroad’s traffic volume rose 3 percent, rates increased 6 percent and fuel surcharges — which generated $424 million in revenue compared with $150 million in fourth-quarter 2004 — went up 9 percent.

The Class I’s quarterly operating income of $800 million rose 20 percent, net income of $430 million increased 24 percent and operating ratio of 76.8 improved 0.3 points compared with fourth-quarter 2004.

However, quarterly operating expenses of $2.8 billion rose 19 percent, primarily because of a $71 million pre-tax loss pertaining to a line sale agreement with the state of New Mexico and a $210 million increase in fuel costs.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/24/2006