Record invest for BNSF rail freight development

Written by Railway Age Staff
BNSF development

BNSF customers, including Iowa Fertilizer Company, invested nearly $7.7 billion in 2017 for new or expanded facilities. Photo credit: BNSF Railway

BNSF Railway Company saw another record year – nearly $7.7 billion –worth of investment from customers served by freight rail in 2017.

The Fort Worth-based carrier said the total reflects several large investments by customers including Iowa Fertilizer Company, Spectrum Brands and Ganahl Lumber Company. The investments are expected to generate approximately 3,500 new jobs in local communities, and marks the seventh consecutive year that BNSF customers and local economic development organizations have invested more than $1 billion in a calendar year for new or expanded facilities.

“The focus of the BNSF Economic Development team is to facilitate and expedite the process of establishing rail service for our customers, so these types of customer investments highlight the innovative transportation solutions our rail network provides to a range of businesses and industries,” said Colby Tanner, assistant vice president, economic development.

New developments supported a wide variety of supply chain solutions in commodities including agriculture, chemicals, consumer products, ethanol, fertilizer, industrial products and petroleum in more than 100 communities across the railroad’s network.

Highlights include:

  • Iowa Fertilizer Company: Located in Wever, Iowa, the $3 billion fertilizer plant began production in 2017. Bringing 220 permanent jobs to the area, the plant is anticipated to produce up to 2 million metric tons of fertilizer and diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) products each year.
  • Spectrum Brands: The hardware and home improvement division of Spectrum Brands consolidated its operations from two distribution centers to one, located at Logistics Park Kansas City, in Edgerton, Kansas. The multi-million dollar project included a 927,000 square-foot distribution center and brought an additional 300 jobs to LPKC.
  • Ganahl Lumber Company: By building a new $50-million, rail-served lumber facility in Torrance, Calif., Ganahl hired 91 employees, with plans to employ up to 140 at the location.

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