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10/30/2002



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

BNSF, short lines address issues at Class I's annual conference


At Burlington Northern Santa Fe’s annual short line conference, 150 small-road officials, and BNSF's senior operations and marketing execs discussed the Class I's e-business tools and customer service options for short lines, and the effect of BNSF's public pricing initiatives on small roads.


"Short lines are important to BNSF, since more than 25 percent of our carload business moves on one or more short lines," said BNSF Vice President of Network Development Pete Rickershauser at the event held Oct. 27-29 in Fort Worth, Texas, according to a prepared statement.


Short-line officials expressed concerns about operating and marketing issues, as well as BNSF’s willingness to partner with small roads.


"We're handling 15 cars a day of molten sulfur as a result of a cooperative effort with BNSF, which includes trackage rights and an operating agreement," said Cliff Root, president of Bighorn Divide and Wyoming Railroad. "Cooperative efforts like these show how short lines and BNSF can grow business together [and] meet customer needs."


BNSF expects short lines to play a larger role in developing the Class I's business as the large road sheds more low-density track, said BNSF Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Matthew Rose.


"Your ability to micro-manage pick-up and delivery is critical to our development of a world-class carload network," he said.


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