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Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

BNSF cites key 2015 capex work in three states


BNSF Railway Co. recently released highlights of its 2015 capital spending projects pegged for Minnesota, Nebraska and Washington.

The Class I plans to spend $326 million in Minnesota on track maintenance and capacity expansion projects. The capex work calls for constructing 13 miles of double track from Big Lake to Becker and Little Falls to Darling; beginning the grading work for a double-track project from Randall to Lincoln that's slated for completion in 2016; building a two-mile double-track segment from Minneapolis Junction to St. Anthony; converting a track section near St. Paul to a third mainline; building a siding in the Noyes Subdivision; and installing Centralized Traffic Control systems in the Monticello, Staples and St. Croix subdivisions.

The track maintenance program in Minnesota includes 269 miles of surfacing and/or undercutting work, the replacement of 125 miles of rail and about 427,000 ties, and signal upgrades for positive train control (PTC) implementation.

"This year’s planned expansion and maintenance projects will help give BNSF the capacity flexibility it needs to support our customers’ growing demands and connect Minnesota products to key markets, as well as benefit Northstar and Amtrak, which operate on our network," said Tom Albanese, general manager of operations for the Class I's Twin Cities Division, in a press release.

In Nebraska, BNSF has budgeted $226 million for track maintenance and capacity expansion projects. The work involves the construction of two double-track segments in the Ravenna Subdivision totaling 18 miles. The track maintenance program calls for surfacing and/or undercutting 2,014 miles of track, replacing about 55 miles of rail and 214,000 ties, and completing signal upgrades for PTC.

In Washington, BNSF plans to spend $189 million on capex projects. Major work includes the construction of about seven miles of double track from Ferndale to Custer, and a staging track west of Custer; the reconfiguration of the Bayside and Delta yards in Everett; and the continuation of efforts to replace the Washougal River bridge in Camas, with work to start later this year and conclude in 2016. The railroad also expects to surface and/or undercut 1,011 miles of track, replace about 50 miles of rail and 203,000 ties, and complete signal upgrades for PTC.

The planned work in the three states is part of BNSF’s record-setting $6 billion capex budget for 2015. For more insight and information on the Class I's capital spending program, read this cover story from Progressive Railroading's February issue.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/10/2015