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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

BNSF, Union Pacific pursue trackwork projects; Union Pacific reports weak PRB coal traffic in May


BNSF Railway Co. recently announced plans to spend $80 million this year on maintenance and rail capacity improvement projects in Arizona, and $65 million on similar work in New Mexico. The allocations are part of BNSF’s $3.9 billion capital spending budget for 2012.
In Arizona, the Class I will surface and undercut 377 miles of track, replace 26 miles of rail and about 233,000 ties, and upgrade signals for positive train control (PTC) work. In New Mexico, the railroad will surface and undercut 560 miles of track, replace 22 miles of rail and about 142,000 ties, and upgrade signals for PTC work.
Meanwhile, Union Pacific Railroad expects to complete major trackwork projects in Colorado and Wyoming by month’s end. The projects are part of the Class I’s $3.6 billion capex budget for 2012.

A more than $10 million project in Colorado calls for upgrading a 56-mile line between Winter Park and Kremmling. Crews are replacing about two miles of rail in various curves, renewing surfaces at 39 grade crossings, replacing 44,400 ties, spreading 24,900 tons of ballast and improving more than a half-mile of infrastructure in tunnels.

A more than $9 million project in Wyoming calls for upgrading a 79-mile line between Egbert and the Wyoming/Nebraska state line near Lyman, Neb. Work includes replacing about 66,000 ties, spreading 44,800 tons of ballast and renewing surfaces at 62 crossings.

UP also announced that coal trains loadings in the Southern Power River Basin totaled 737 in May, down from May 2011’s 876. Coal train loadings in the Colorado/Utah Region were flat at 193 versus 194 in May 2011.

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More News from 6/6/2012