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RAIL EMPLOYMENT

Rail News Home Maintenance Of Way

5/2/2012



Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

BNSF budgets $202 million for Nebraska projects, helps launch California trackwork


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Yesterday, BNSF Railway Co. announced plans to spend $202 million on maintenance and rail capacity improvement and expansion projects in Nebraska this year.

The projects include adding a second mainline in the Grand Island area; beginning the replacement of a bridge over the Missouri River between Plattsmouth and Pacific Junction, Iowa; expanding a locomotive shop in Lincoln; improving a car shop in Havelock; and upgrading signals for positive train control (PTC) implementation work. BNSF also plans to continue its track maintenance program in Nebraska, which calls for 1,405 miles of track surfacing and undercutting work, and the replacement of 100 miles of rail and about 140,000 ties.

The projects are part of BNSF’s 2012 capital spending budget of $3.9 billion, which includes $2.1 billion for the core network and related assets; $1.1 billion for locomotive, car and other equipment acquisitions; $400 million for terminal, line and intermodal expansion and efficiency projects; and about $300 million for PTC work.
 
“[These] investments will improve our ability to provide rail-freight services to Nebraska businesses and communities, and will expand opportunities to create more jobs and growth for the Nebraska economy,” said BNSF Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Matt Rose in a prepared statement.

In addition, BNSF officials yesterday joined Amtrak and California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) representatives to announce the groundbreaking for a $38 million project designed to add 3.8 miles of track in the Los Angeles area to increase efficiency and boost rail capacity.

Funded by an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant, the project is part of a planned $163 million, 15-mile mainline triple-track expansion between Commerce and Fullerton that will establish a third track adjacent to two existing lines. The work will help maintain reliable freight-rail rail service and support expanded passenger- and commuter-rail service in the corridor, BNSF and Caltrans officials said in a prepared statement.

“In a densely populated urban region such as Los Angeles, passenger- and freight-rail lines often compete for track access,” said Acting Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “This project makes it possible for us to better serve the public by helping to alleviate congestion and improve on-time performance.”

The project also will help improve on-time performance for Amtrak California Pacific Surfliner trains operating through the corridor.

“Amtrak continues to look forward to the implementation of all track improvements to the Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo rail corridor,” said Michael Chandler, Amtrak’s general superintendent for the Southwest Division.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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