BNSF Railway has announced a $3.3 billion (∼€2.6 billion) capital investment plan for 2018.
The freight operator said that the plan focuses on maintenance as well as expansion projects aimed at meeting customer demands. The value of the programme is similar to the $3.4 billion capital investment plan from 2017.
The largest component of this year’s plan – around $2.4 billion (∼€1.9 billion) – is dedicated to maintenance.
This includes replacing and upgrading rail, rail ties and ballast and maintaining its rolling stock.
It 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 three million rail ties.
Approximately $500 million (∼€407 million) is for expansion and efficiency projects.
The majority of those projects are focused on key growth areas along BNSF’s Southern and Northern Transcon routes, connecting Southern California with Chicago and the Pacific Northwest to Upper Midwest, respectively.
The company has also allocated $100 million (∼€81.5 million) for positive train control (PTC) as it moves toward meeting the December 31 implementation deadline.
BNSF said that it is the only Class I freight railroad to have completed the installation of PTC on all its federally-mandated subdivisions.
Another element of its capital plan will be $300 million (∼€244 million) for rolling stock and other equipment acquisitions.
BNSF president Carl Ice said: “Every year we work to ensure our capital investment plan enables us to continue to operate a safe and reliable rail network as well as anticipates the needs of our customers.”
BNSF said that since 2000 it has invested more than $60 billion (∼€48.9 billion) on its network.