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Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

BNSF, UP alter maintenance plan for joint Powder River Basin line


BNSF Railway Co. and Union Pacific Railroad recently modified their 2005 joint line maintenance plan to increase coal train loadings in the Powder River Basin. The Class Is experienced a number of train delays in mid-May after the joint line was damaged by heavy rains.

BNSF will eliminate a night undercuttering shift for the rest of the year to provide more track time. The undercutter crew had been working two 12-hour shifts a day, three days a week. Beginning the week of Oct. 31, the crew will work 12 hours during the day, three days a week, until early December.

Between July 6 (when joint line maintenance work began) and Oct. 5, BNSF replaced ballast in 44 turnouts and 48.7 miles of track, and installed 30,835 concrete ties and 175,279 lineal feet of rail. On Monday, the Class I rehabilitated 565 feet of bridge track, rehabilitated two switches and performed undercutting work during a planned 24-hour outage on the line.

Now, the railroad will begin grading work for a new third main track between milepost 58 and Reno Junction, Wyo.

During 2005’s first nine months, rail-delivered coal in the basin rose 7.7 million tons — or 2.6 percent — compared with the same 2004 period.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/13/2005