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BNSF presents 'partnership' awards to four short lines

Burlington Northern Santa Fe recently honored four short lines with its first "Short-Line Partnership in Growth Awards" during the Class I's ninth annual short line conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

BNSF presented awards to the 140-mile Alabama & Gulf Coast Railway L.L.C., four-mile Burlington Junction Railway, five-mile Modesto & Empire Traction Co, and 20-mile Toppenish, Simco & Western Railroad.

"All of our short-line connections have played a role in our joint success in 2004," said Pete Rickershauser, BNSF vice president of network development, in a prepared statement. "These awards recognize the resourcefulness and achievements of those short lines that have gone beyond our expectations through innovation, determination and hard work."

About 300 people attended the conference, which featured presentations on BNSF's network development, service and marketing plans for 2005, and how short lines fit into those plans. BNSF connects with more than 200 short lines.

"We see [short lines'] role expanding in the future as they do more gathering, distribution and aggregate blocks of cars for integration into BNSF's network of mainline trains," said Mark Schmidt, BNSF assistant vice president of short line development.

Through September, shipments that originated or terminated on short lines accounted for 15.5 percent — or about $1.2 billion — of BNSF's 2004 revenue.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/8/2004