BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) in Texas, US, has unveiled plans to spend about $3.9bn on rail network upgrades this year, 2012.

The company said $2.1bn will be allocated to improve its core network and related assets, while about $1.1bn will be spent on locomotive, freight cars and other equipment acquisitions. BNSF chairman and chief executive officer Matthew K Rose said investment in the company’s rail freight infrastructure is an investment in American jobs and competitiveness.

"It will ensure our infrastructure remains strong and improve the efficiency of our operations," Rose said.

"BNSF remains committed to making the necessary investments to maintain and grow the value of our franchise’s capacity to meet customers’ needs and provide the nation’s supply chain with more efficient freight transportation."

The programme also includes about $300m for developing the federally mandated positive train control (PTC) system that will reduce the probability of collisions between trains or over-speed accidents.

About $400m is earmarked for terminal, line and intermodal expansion and efficiency projects, which will be primarily focused on coal routes to improve velocity and throughput capacity for the new intermodal facility at Kansas.

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By GlobalData

BNSF Railway said the 2012 capital commitment programme is a $400m increase from its 2011 capital spend of $3.5bn.

Last year’s capital commitment programme involved about $450m to acquire 227 locomotives and about $350m on freight car and other equipment acquisitions.

The railroad is headquartered in Fort Worth and became a subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway in February 2010. BNSF directly owns and operates 38,624km of track and controls more than 80,467km when additional tracks are included. The company has also gained trackage rights on more than 12,875km of track throughout the US and Canada.