- Written by The Herald-News
BNSF announced Jan. 19 that their 2017 capitol expenditure plan will be about $3.4 billion. This includes $100 million to be invested in their Montana railway system.
This is slightly down from 2016’s $3.9 billion expenditure plan, but is similar in that its largest component is to replace and maintain BNSF’s core network and assets.
In 2017, BNSF approximates that $2.4 billion will be used for this large component of the plan; this includes projects such as replacing and upgrading rails, rail ties and ballast. It will also go towards maintaining BNSF’s rolling stock of locomotives.
This plan includes maintaining approximately 20,000 miles of track and replacement of about 600 miles of rail and three million rail ties.
BNSF has approximately 1,939 miles of track in Montana including a long stretch along U.S. Hwy. 2.
BNSF also plans to spend $400 million for expansion projects, $100 million for the implementation of positive train control and $400 million for locomotives, freight cars and other equipment acquisitions.
BNSF president and chief executive officer Carl Ice said, “Each year, we establish a capital plan that reflects the future needs of our customers and the constant need to keep our infrastructure in good working condition. 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.”
He continued, “Our ongoing investments, along with the outstanding efforts of our employees, 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.”