Thursday, May 8, 2014

BNSF to Spend Millions in Wash. Rail Expansion

By Mark Edward Nero

BNSF Railway says it plans to spend about $235 million in Washington state in 2014 to expand rail capacity, replace and maintain the network infrastructure and continue its implementation of train control technology.

The railway says it plans to spend about $1 billion this year to improve and expand rail capacity in states along its Northern Corridor, which spans the northern US between the Pacific Northwest and Chicago.

“Our capital investments along the Northern Corridor are critical to expanding our capacity to support the region’s rapidly growing economy,” BNSF Railway President and Chief Executive Officer Carl Ice said.

Expansion projects in Washington State include:
• Constructing second mainline track at various locations on the route between Cheney, Washington and Mesa, Washington.
• Constructing two new staging tracks near Everett, Washington.
• Installing a power switch at Anacortes, Washington.
• Planned property improvements to enhance operations at the intermodal facilities in Spokane and South Seattle, Washington.

Planned maintenance projects include:
• Surfacing and undercutting of more than 1,200 miles of track.
• Replacing about 60 miles of rail, and;
• Replacing more than 113,000 ties.

Some of the projects that are expected to help expand capacity and improve traffic flow for freight and passenger trains on those routes are already underway, according to the railway.

Overall, BNSF says it’s making $5 billion in capital investment in 2014, up $1 million from the then-record amount of $4 billion that it spent in 2013.

A map of the railway’s 2014 spending plan is available at