BNSF to spend $350 million on maintenance in Washington, Minnesota
BNSF Railway Co. announced yesterday that its 2016 capital expenditure program will include $220 million worth of maintenance projects in the state of Washington and $130 million in Minnesota. The largest component of the capex plan for both states will be dedicated to replacing and upgrading rail, ties and ballast, BNSF officials said in press releases. BNSF's maintenance program in Washington includes more than 1,260 miles of track surfacing or undercutting work, the replacement of nearly 70 miles of rail and close to 243,000 ties, as well as signal upgrades for federally mandated PTC implementation. This year's capital projects in the state also include continuing the replacement of the Washougal River bridge in Camas. The spending follows more than $550 million invested by BNSF in its network in Washington over the past three years. "Freight rail is vital to Washington, where nearly 40 percent of all jobs in the state are tied to international trade," said Jared Wootton, BNSF general manager of operations, Northwest Division. "Our sizable operations in Washington help connect local businesses with markets throughout the U.S. and around the globe. This region is important to the success of our overall network and the broader economy." In Minnesota, BNSF's maintenance program includes more than 60 miles of track surfacing or undercutting work, the replacement of 70 miles of rail and about 375,000 ties, as well as signal upgrades for PTC. The 2016 program follows more than $550 million invested by BNSF in its network in Minnesota over the past three years. "Whether it is moving raw materials headed to manufacturing plants, finished products to retail stores, or passengers riding on Northstar and Amtrak, which operate on our network, we remain focused on operating a safe and reliable network at all times," said Tom Albanese, BNSF general manager of operations, Twin Cities Division.
The maintenance programs in Washington and Minnesota are part of BNSF's $4.3 billion capex plan for its entire network this year.