A rapid and well-coordinated response to a New Year’s Day derailment on BNSF’s Kootenai River Subdivision in northern Idaho got track cleared and repaired, and trains rolling again, by Jan. 4.
Author: Bruce E. Kelly
In early October, BNSF placed in service approximately 2.5 miles of second main track near the community of Westmond, Idaho, closing the gap between two larger sections of double-track main line on one of the busiest and often congested segments of the company’s Northern Corridor.
It’s been a busy year of expansion and improvements at the White Pass & Yukon Route. The hugely popular tourist railroad, based out of Skagway, Alaska, was sold on July 31, 2018, to a joint venture involving cruise line Carnival Corporation and Rail Management Services, an affiliate of Survey Point Holdings.
A revolutionary track design to stage and process more trains more efficiently through loading and unloading terminals was recognized at The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Engineering Excellence Awards Gala in Washington, D.C., on May 7, 2019. ACEC’s Grand Award was given to Omaha-based HDR, Inc., for its patent-pending Infinity Loop.
BNSF is experimenting with the process of combining two empty unit grain trains into one and sending the double-length train east out of Auburn, Wash., over Stampede Pass.
The past two decades have been a time of steady growth for Union Pacific’s only route to the Canadian border, running from Hinkle, Ore., north through Spokane, Wash., to Eastport, Idaho. Capacity improvements performed over the past several years, and more scheduled for 2019, are evidence of UP’s commitment to accommodate new business through this seldom-mentioned international gateway.
To an industry that routinely faces the aftermath of flooding, mudslides, avalanches, hurricanes and even earthquakes, the concept of service disruption due to an erupting volcano seems almost unthinkable. But according to a recent study, and judging by the not-so-distant history of volcanoes in the U.S., some railroads are in fact quite vulnerable to such disasters, particularly in the Pacific Northwest.
Forty-five years of Gem State safety effort is reaffirmed by crew members and state troopers climbing aboard a pair of Union Pacific locomotives at Coeur d’Alene Junction, Idaho, on the morning of Sept. 13, 2017.
An aviation milestone has been achieved thanks to a half-century of railroad transport. Spirit AeroSystems announced on Feb. 14 that the 10,000th 737 fuselage had left its factory in Wichita, Kans., and was en route by rail to Boeing’s massive assembly plant in Renton, Wash.
BNSF has honored three generations of railroaders with a new siding in Washington State.