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Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

BNSF calls all-out track maintenance blitz on California mainline

It's blitz time again for BNSF Railway Co. On Jan. 23, the Class I began a two-week, $17.5 million track maintenance blitz on a mainline between Fresno and Richmond, Calif.

Blitzes enable the railroad to complete trackwork in weeks that ordinarily would take months by using a large workforce and numerous pieces of equipment. To finish the project by Feb. 8, BNSF is reassigning 300 employees from other subdivisions to the Stockton Subdivision and closing the 194-mile line to traffic six hours each day of the blitz.

The project includes upgrading four bridges, improving 25 grade crossings, installing 69,638 wood ties and undercutting 23,232 feet of track.

"The maintenance blitz … will improve ride quality for Amtrak and facilitate freight movement between Fresno and Richmond," said Steve Anderson, BNSF general director of line maintenance, in a prepared statement.

In January 2004, BNSF conducted a two-week track maintenance blitz on a mainline between Bakersfield and Fresno. The railroad replaced 12 miles of rail, installed 38,250 wood ties, undercut 47,250 feet of track, installed three switches, and upgraded one bridge and 18 crossings.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/26/2005