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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

BNSF banks on steady fuselage business from Boeing


During the past 35 years, BNSF Railway Co. has moved fuselages for Boeing’s 737 aircraft from Wichita, Kan., to Renton, Wash. The railroad averages about 30 moves a month — steady business that’s expected to continue for many more years.

Later this month, Boeing will assemble its 5,000th 737, which the aircraft builder began producing in 1970. Boeing currently has 1,000 737s on order.

Ten years ago, BNSF moved the fuselages in two pieces; now, the freight is moved intact on a specially designed rail car with load-securing hardware.

“These are the highest-value loads we ship on a consistent basis,” said Ron Weingarden, BNSF senior manager of load and ride solutions, in a news item on the “BNSF Today” Web site. “Basically, it’s an airplane without wings going 2,000 miles across the country via rail car.”

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More News from 1/18/2006