Friday, October 25, 2013

BNSF Planning California Rail Capacity
Expansion, Improvements

BNSF Railway says it plans to spend about $100 million on maintenance and rail capacity expansion projects in California this year.

The company’s 2013 capacity enhancement projects in California include preliminary design work for the $500 million Southern California International Gateway, or SCIG project, which would sit just outside West Long Beach, alongside the Terminal Island Freeway on land owned by the Port of Los Angeles, and would serve on-dock rail facilities at both the LA and Long Beach ports.

The facility, which would feature electric, wide-span cranes, ultra-low emission switching locomotives and low-emission rail yard equipment, is expected to eliminate millions of truck miles from the 710 Freeway upon completion in 2016.

BNSF also plans to expand its automotive facility in San Bernardino by adding parking and track to support growth in new automobile traffic, and will construct a connection track between BNSF and Union Pacific main lines in the Richmond area in Northern California.

The company says it will also continue its track maintenance program in California, which includes 2,300 miles of track surfacing and undercutting work, the replacement of more than 100 miles of rail and more than 300,000 railroad ties, as well as signal upgrades.

“BNSF's capital investments in California will help ensure our network is prepared for growing demand for freight rail,” company Chairman and CEO Matthew Rose said Oct. 7. “We are focused on investing to meet our customers’ expectations and on expanding capacity where growth is occurring. Given the importance of a low cost supply chain to the U.S. economy, our privately funded rail infrastructure is well positioned to help California compete in global markets.”

The planned capital investments in California are part of a record 2013 capital commitment of $4.3 billion for BNSF.