BNSF Plans USD 124 million Capital Program in Montana
OREANDA-NEWS. BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) announced that its 2015 capital program for its operations in Montana will be an estimated USD 124 million for rail maintenance and capacity improvement projects. Unlike other modes of freight transportation, U.S. railroads own and maintain their own networks. To ensure BNSF's network operates at optimal efficiency, each year the company allocates capital for infrastructure and expansion projects that will enable it to serve the growing needs of customers from a broad cross section of the economy.
"This year's substantial investments in Montana are a clear reflection of how important our operations in the state are to our overall network and our unwavering commitment to always operating safely - for our people and the communities in which we operate," said Dan Fransen, BNSF general manager operations Montana Division.
"We know our customers are competing in a fast-paced, global economy where a smooth, efficient supply chain can be the difference between winning and losing in the marketplace. This year's planned expansion and maintenance projects will help give BNSF the capacity flexibility it needs to support our customers' growing demands and connect Montana products to key markets."
Continuous maintenance of BNSF's infrastructure ensures an optimized, safe and reliable network. Maintaining the railroad is important for keeping it in optimal condition and helps limit the need for unscheduled service outages that can slow down the rail network and reduce capacity. BNSF's maintenance program in Montana will include 1,227 miles of track surfacing and undercutting work, the replacement of 52 miles of rail and about 345,000 ties as well as signal upgrades for federally-mandated positive train control (PTC).
BNSF's 2015 capital projects in Montana include starting the grading for four miles of double track along the Glasgow subdivision. The project, which ends at the Snowden Junction, will be completed in 2016. When the Glasgow subdivision project is complete there will be 114 miles of double track from North Dakota to Montana. Another project in Montana will improve the tracks from Crane to Snowden Junction. Both these projects will greatly improve capacity on this heavily-trafficked route.
The planned capital investments in Montana are part of BNSF's record 2015 capital commitment of USD 6 billion, which was announced last November and is the company's largest planned capital expenditure in its history. These investments include USD 2.9 billion to replace and maintain core network and related assets, nearly USD 1.5 billion on expansion and efficiency projects, USD 200 million for continued implementation of PTC and USD 1.4 billion for locomotives, freight cars and other equipment acquisitions.