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BNSF Railway announces record $5B capital spend for 2014

BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) announced a new single-year record capital commitment plan of approximately $5 billion for 2014, approximately a $1 billion increase over its 2013 capital spend. The largest component of the capital plan is spending $2.3 billion on BNSF’s core network and related assets. BNSF also plans to spend approximately $1.6 billion on locomotive, freight car and other equipment acquisitions.

In addition, the program includes about $200 million for continued installation of positive train control (PTC) and approximately $900 million for terminal, line and intermodal expansion and efficiency projects.

BNSF’s expansion and efficiency projects will be primarily focused on line capacity improvements to accommodate growth in agricultural products, intermodal, automotive, and industrial products volumes related to crude oil production, and other terminal improvements to enhance productivity and velocity. More than $900 million of the capital plan is for expansion and maintenance in the Northern Corridor.

BNSF handled more than 50% of the volume increases for the rail industry in 2013. The growth was led by:

  • an 8% increase in domestic intermodal units;

  • an 11% increase in Industrial Products volumes led by crude-by-rail related traffic;

  • a 3% increase in coal volumes; and

  • a fourth quarter surge in agricultural products.

This growth is on top of a 2012 BNSF total volume base of more than 9.6 million units. Much of the capacity expansion in the 2014 capital plan is for infrastructure investment on BNSF’s Northern Corridor to put the company in position to meet all customer service expectations, including Amtrak.

BNSF Railway is one of North America’s leading freight transportation companies operating on 32,500 route miles of track in 28 states and two Canadian provinces.



Will some of the $5B be used to electrify a few selected rail lines?


Hybrid locomotives (pure electric and diesel electric) already exist and can be used on both electrified and regular rail lines.

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