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Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

BNSF marks completion of triple track on PRB joint line

The Powder River Basin (PRB) joint line in Wyoming now is triple-tracked from end to end. Late last month, BNSF Railway Co. opened a 12-mile third main between Caballo Junction and Coal Creek Junction, marking the completion of triple track along the entire 103-mile line BNSF shares with Union Pacific Railroad.

In July, BNSF placed in service 15 miles of third main track between Donkey Creek Junction and Caballo Junction; in September, the Class I opened an additional 13 miles of triple track between Coal Creek Junction and Reno Junction.

"Completion of the third mainline not only improves the flow of loaded and empty coal trains to and from the 10 mines served by BNSF and UP on the joint line, but also allows double-track operations to continue when any one of the three tracks must be taken out of service for maintenance," BNSF officials said in a service advisory posted on the Class I's Web site.

By year's end, BNSF also expects to complete 21 miles of quadruple track south of the North Antelope Rochelle Mine — the joint line's first segment of fourth mainline.

Additional track capacity already is helping BNSF boost PRB coal traffic. In October, the railroad averaged 51.4 daily train loadings compared with October 2006's 50.4-train average. And through 2007's first 10 months, BNSF averaged 49.8 train loadings per day, up slightly compared with a 49.4-train average during the same 2006

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More News from 11/6/2007