OREANDA-NEWS. BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) today announced that its 2015 capital program for its operations in Colorado will be an estimated USD 141 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 Colorado 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 Steve Nettleton, BNSF general manager operations Power River 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 Colorado products to key markets."

BNSF's 2015 capital projects in Colorado include:
* Extending the sidings along the Brush subdivision in Bijou, Crest, Hudson, Messex, Roggen and Tonville. The work on extending the sidings in Barr, Keensburg, New Hillrose and Wiggins will also start this year, but will be completed in 2016. The siding at Messex will also be converted to Centralized Traffic Control (CTC) to help manage rail traffic.
* Constructing a new siding west of Commerce City enabling trains on the same line to pass resulting in better train capacity.
* Extending the tracks at the Denver and Sterling terminals to improve throughput capacity.

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 Colorado will include 580 miles of track surfacing and undercutting work, the replacement of nearly 16 miles of rail and close to 123,500 ties, as well as signal upgrades for federally mandated positive train control (PTC).

The planned capital investments in Colorado 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.