BNSF plans $160M Washington state capex

Written by Mischa Wanek-Libman, Editor, Railway Track & Structures; and Engineering Editor, Railway Age

BNSF Railway plans to spend $160 million in Washington state during 2018. The state capital plan is part of its larger $3.3 billion 2018 capital plan.

 The $160 million will add to the $940 million the Class 1 has spent during the past five years to maintain its 1,300-mile network in the state. BNSF explains the largest component of this year’s capital plan in the state will be for replacing and upgrading rail, crossties and ballast.

“Freight rail helps connect local businesses with the global supply chain. This is particularly critical in a state where 40 percent of all jobs are tied to trade,” said Zak Andersen, vice president, corporate relations. “Whether its agricultural products moving to markets overseas or lumber and construction materials moving into other U.S. markets, we remain focused on operating a safe, reliable and efficient railroad for our customers and the end consumer.”

This year, the maintenance program in Washington includes approximately 490 miles of track surfacing and/or undercutting work, as well as the replacement of about 40 miles of rail and close to 230,000 ties. Along the Fallbridge Subdivision, BNSF plans to install new double-track between Washougal and Mt. Pleasant. The company will also begin to install new double-track along the Spokane Subdivision between Hauser, Idaho and Spokane. Two bridge replacement projects are also slated to begin this year in Home Valley and North Bonneville. The construction of a new unloading track and additional parking capacity at the Orillia Automotive Facility is also planned for 2018.

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