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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Genesee & Wyoming leases line to help BNSF build carload business


In keeping with its strategy of relying on short lines to help build carload business, Burlington Northern Santa Fe recently reached a 15-year lease agreement with Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (GWI) involving a 76-mile line between Salem and Eugene, Ore.

GWI subsidiary Portland & Western Railroad Inc. would operate the line, which is contiguous to the short line's track, and would expand the holding company's Oregon region to 523 miles and revenue base to $28 million.

By 2006, GWI and BNSF plan to upgrade about 20 miles of the line south of Salem by installing heavier rail, which would enable GWI to increase train speed, reduce car-cycle times and improve service. BNSF would provide the rail and GWI would supply the other project materials.

"Short-line operators can provide valuable and efficient service that supports our carload growth," said Pete Rickershauser, BNSF vice president, network development, in a prepared statement. "They feed us traffic through service offerings closely tailored to the needs of our shippers located on their lines."

GWI plans to use the line to move about 20,000 more annual carloads, including paper, lumber and agricultural products.

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More News from 10/25/2002