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March 6, 2016

BNSF to improve rail capacity in California with $180m investment

Freight transportation firm BNSF Railway (BNSF) is planning to invest $180m to expand capacity and maintain infrastructure in California, US.

Freight transportation firm BNSF Railway (BNSF) is planning to invest $180m to expand capacity and maintain infrastructure in California, US.

With its 2016 capital expenditure programme, the company aims to operate a safe and reliable network, as well as support customer demand.

As part of the programme, the company will replace and upgrade rails, rail ties and ballast, which are the main components for the tracks.

The company noted that regular maintenance of the railroad allows it to keep network infrastructure in optimal condition, as well as reduce the need for unscheduled service work that can slow down the rail network and decrease capacity.

"California plays an important part in the success of our overall network and the broader economy."

BNSF California division operations general manager Mark Kirschinger said: "California plays an important part in the success of our overall network and the broader economy.

"At BNSF we will always remain focused on operating a safe and reliable network while helping connect products made in California and imported from across the world with key consumer markets."

The maintenance programme will include 1,100 miles of track surfacing and/or undercutting work, replacing approximately 35 miles of rail and more than 70,000 ties, as well as signal upgrades for federally mandated positive train control (PTC).

This year’s programme follows more than $600m invested by the company in its network in California over the past three years.

Other capital projects in the state include adding more parking capacity at the San Bernardino automotive and intermodal facilities as well as starting a project that will span several years at the Stockton Intermodal Facility to build more track for loading and unloading containers and creating more parking.

The investment is part of BNSF’s $4.3bn capital investment plan for this year, which will include $2.8bn to replace and maintain core network and related assets.

Around $500m will be invested on expansion and efficiency projects, $300m on the government-mandated PTC system, while $600m will be spent on locomotives, freight cars and other equipment acquisitions.

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