US-based freight railroad network BNSF Railway has announced plans to invest $3.4bn this year to replace and maintain its core network and related assets.

The latest plan will be similar to last year’s $3.9bn plan.

Planned investment will be used for several projects that will primarily include replacing and upgrading rail, rail ties and ballast, as well as maintaining the company’s rolling stock.

Maintenance programme for this year will include around 20,000 miles of track surfacing and undercutting work. Approximately 600 miles of rail and nearly three million rail ties would also be replaced.

BNSF president and CEO Carl Ice said: “This year’s capital plan ensures we continue to operate a safe and reliable rail network, while capturing the new opportunities our customers will present to us.

“Our ongoing investments, along with the outstanding efforts of our employees, resulted in the lowest number of derailments in company history last year.

"Our ongoing investments resulted in the lowest number of derailments in company history last year."

“The strength and condition of our railroad today gives us the confidence that we will operate safely in the communities we serve and meet our customers’ expectations of reliable and consistent service.”

Under of the plan, $400m will be used for expansion projects, with $100m allocated for implementation of positive train control.

Another $400m will be used for locomotives and freight cars, as well as other equipment acquisitions.

The states on the BNSF network that will receive the largest investments are Texas ($255m), Illinois ($190m), Washington ($175m), California ($170m), Kansas ($125m), Missouri ($120m), Montana ($100m) and Nebraska ($100m).

Operating about 32,500 route miles of track in 28 states, BNSF is also present in three Canadian provinces.


Image: BNSF’s planned investment will be used for several projects that will primarily include replacing and upgrading rail, rail ties. Photo: courtesy of BNSF Railway.