BNSF capex totaling $3.3B in 2018

Written by Stuart Chirls, Senior Editor
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BNSF employees work on double track capital expansion project in Vaughn, N.M., in this undated photo. Credit: BNSF Railway

BNSF Railway Company plans to spend $3.3 billion on capital investments in 2018 – the same as the previous year – both for maintenance and expansion projects to meet customer demands.

 The 2018 maintenance component is projected to be $2.4 billion, with projects for replacing and upgrading rail, ties and ballast, and maintaining rolling stock. The program will include approximately 13,000 miles of track surfacing and/or undercutting work and the replacement of more than 500 miles of rail and nearly 3 million ties.

“Our infrastructure is strong and robust. Our efforts to normalize our maintenance investment have positioned us to replace the right assets at the right locations at the right time,” said Carl Ice, BNSF president and chief executive officer. “This allows our maintenance investment to be at similar levels year-to-year.”

Approximately $500 million of this year’s capital plan is for expansion and efficiency projects, the majority focused on key growth areas along BNSF’s Southern and Northern trans-continental routes, connecting Southern California with Chicago and the Pacific Northwest to Upper Midwest, respectively. The Fort Worth-based company has also allocated $100 million for Positive Train Control as it moves toward meeting the Dec. 31, 2018 implementation deadline.

The railroad said it is the only Class 1 freight carrier to have completed the installation of PTC on all its federally-mandated subdivisions and is currently running hundreds of trains daily with PTC as it tests revenue service across its mandated territory.

The company also plans to spend $300 million for freight cars and other equipment acquisitions.

Since 2000, BNSF has invested more than $60 billion in its network.

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