BNSF, UP expand Powder River Basin joint line with third main track (5/19/2006)


This week, BNSF Railway Co. began moving trains on 19 miles of new third main track installed on the Powder River Basin joint line in Wyoming. Trains will move in one direction until crews complete crossovers and signal cutovers in September. The joint line is used by BNSF and Union Pacific Railroad.

Earlier this month, the Class Is announced a plan to spend about $100 million during the next two years to build more than 40 miles of third and fourth mainlines to expand the joint line's annual capacity to more than 400 million tons of coal.

During 2006's first 19 weeks, BNSF averaged 50.1 trains per day in the basin compared with a 40.0 train-per-day average during the same 2005 period. The Class I loaded an average of 48.3 trains per day, up 8.1 percent. Systemwide through 19 weeks, BNSF loaded a total of 101.7 million tons of coal, a 6.9 percent increase compared with loadings during 2005's first 19 weeks.

Source: Progressive Railroading Daily News