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Rail News: Norfolk Southern Railway

Norfolk Southern breaks down $2 billion capex budget for 2013

When it announced fourth-quarter financial results a week ago, Norfolk Southern Corp. revealed plans to spend $2 billion on capital improvements in 2013. Yesterday, the Class I announced details of the capex budget.

The largest expenditure will be $831 million for roadway improvements, including the maintenance and replacement of rail, ties, ballast and bridges. NS also plans to spend $420 million to acquire new locomotives, rebuild and upgrade existing motive power, re-body coal cars, buy multi-level freight cars to accommodate increased automotive traffic, and purchase intermodal containers and chassis.

In addition, the budget allocates:
• $229 million — or about 11 percent of total dollars — for the continued implementation of positive train control;
• $203 million for facilities and terminals, including the continuation of a multi-year project to expand Bellevue yard in northern Ohio, the construction of a new intermodal terminal in Charlotte, N.C., as part of Crescent Corridor, the completion of a new locomotive service facility in Conway, Pa., and new and expanded bulk transfer facilities;
• $84 million for infrastructure improvements designed to increase mainline capacity, accommodate traffic growth and support public-private partnership investments; and
• $57 million for new and upgraded information systems and computers.

Last year, the Class I budgeted $2.42 billion for capex and actually spent about $2.24 billion, said NS spokesman Robin Chapman in an email.

The other major U.S. Class Is recently announced their 2013 capex budgets, as well: BNSF Railway Co., at $4.1 billion; CSX Corp., at $2.3 billion; and Union Pacific Railroad, at $3.6 billion.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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