Thursday, June 11, 2015

BNSF excels in economic development efforts

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BNSF excels in economic development efforts BNSF

In 2014, BNSF Railway customers, working with the railroad and state and local economic development organizations, invested close to $1.5 billion in 138 new or expanded rail facilities. This marks the fourth consecutive year they invested more than $1 billion in rail projects to support business growth. These investments are expected to generate more than 1,200 new jobs.

BNSF said it “continues to play an important role in providing supply chain solutions that move customers’ products to meet consumer demand, despite tight capacity on its rail network.

Agriculture economic development projects undertaken by BNSF’s customers in 2014 included facilities in Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin. Thirteen rail facility projects were completed and began shipping and receiving agricultural products. These agricultural projects represent an investment of approximately $158 million in long-term facilities that support BNSF’s network.

In response to the continued demand for crude oil from the Bakken, Niobrara, and Permian Basin U.S. shale formations, BNSF also worked with customers in locating and completing 11 crude oil terminals in California, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. These terminal and expansion investments exceeded more than $350 million.

Some of the supply chain solutions BNSF helped its customers achieve in 2014 include:

• Completion of BNSF’s Logistics Center in Sweetwater, Tex., which supports customers across several industries, such as agriculture, sand, pipe and aggregate. As part of this project BNSF invested $28 million to replace existing track and add 40,000 feet of new track at the site.

• Creation of a Bison Rail and West Electronics Inc. Transload operation in Poplar, Mont. Located on the Fort Peck Reservation, this project turned a long-unused, 2,600-foot rail spur off the BNSF main line into a shipping port owned and operated by the reservation. T

• Installation of a railroad unloading track capable of storing one million gallons of propane to resupply the existing 1.5 million gallon terminal facility in Benson, Minn. This facility is owned by Alliance Midstream LLC, an affiliate of Dooley's Petroleum Inc.. Construction of this terminal proved critical in providing timely propane delivery while ensuring storage to adequately supply home heating and serve agricultural needs this past fall and winter.

“The rail industry as a whole is an indicator of the health of the economy,” said BNSF Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Steve Bobb. “The diversity of expansion our customers achieved in 2014 is a confirmation of the economic development potential of rail and the value proposition offered by BNSF’s freight rail services.”

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