BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) plans to invest an estimated $115 million on maintenance and rail capacity expansion projects in Montana this year, a significant amount of it along the Hi-Line.
BNSF will expand capacity in Montana by constructing three new unit train staging tracks about 3 miles east of Glasgow and will enhance safety by adding machine vision technology at Miles City to help detect damaged equipment.
BNSF will also continue its robust track maintenance program in Montana, which will include more than 2,300 miles of track surfacing and undercutting work, the replacement of nearly 100 miles of rail and about 310,000 ties, as well as significant signal upgrades for federally mandated positive train control.
“BNSF’s capital investments in Montana will help ensure our network is prepared for growing demand for freight rail,” said Matthew K. Rose, chairman and chief executive officer. “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 all Montana industries compete in global markets.”
The planned capital investments in Montana are part of BNSF’s record 2013 capital commitment of $4.3 billion. 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 billion on locomotive, freight car and other equipment acquisitions, many of which will serve Montana. The program also includes about $200 million for positive train control and $800 million for terminal, line and intermodal expansion and efficiency projects.
Unlike other modes of transportation, U.S. freight railroads use their own private dollars, not tax dollars, to build and maintain their freight rail networks. Since the year 2000, BNSF has invested more than $42 billion to improve and expand its freight rail network.