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BNSF Railway Co. will spend $160 million to upgrade its infrastructure in Washington state, the Class I announced yesterday.The railroad's Washington capital expenditures plan this year will focus on maintenance projects. The plan's largest component will involve replacing and upgrading rail, ties and ballast, BNSF officials said in a press release."Freight rail helps connect local businesses with the global supply chain. This is particularly critical in a state where 40 percent of all jobs are tied to trade," said Zak Andersen, BNSF vice president, corporate relations.Over the past five years, BNSF has spent $940 million to expand and maintain its network in Washington. This year's capex program includes 490 miles of track surfacing and/or undercutting work, as well as the replacement of 40 miles of rail and 230,000 ties.Along the Fallbridge subdivision, BNSF's plans call for installing new double-track between Washougal and Mount Pleasant. Along the Spokane subdivision, the Class I will begin to install new double-track between Spokane and Hauser, Idaho.The plan also includes the start of two bridge replacement projects in Home Valley and North Bonneville. Construction of a new unloading track and additional parking capacity at the Orillia Automotive Facility also is planned for 2018.This year, BNSF's total capex program calls for a $3.3 billion investment across its network. That spending includes $2.4 billion to replace and maintain core network and related assets, approximately $500 million on expansion and efficiency projects and $100 million for continued implementation of positive train control.
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