BNSF Downsizes Capital Spending Plans for 2010

BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) plans a 2010 capital program of $2.4 billion, down about 10 percent from last year because of fewer locomotive purchases.

BNSF said it expects to spend about $2.1 billion for track, signal systems, structures, and freight cars, and to upgrade technologies, including positive train control. The company also anticipates acquiring approximately 170 locomotives for about $320 million.

"For 2010, BNSF currently expects to invest approximately $2.4 billion to ensure our infrastructure remains strong and to improve the efficiency of our operations," said Matthew K. Rose, BNSF's chairman, president and CEO.

Robert J. Boileau, assistant vice president of engineering services at BNSF, outlined some of the railroad's maintenance capital preliminary plans during a presentation at the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association's conference earlier this month in Palm Desert, Calif.

BNSF plans to do 842 track miles of rail relay work, including 300 miles of new curve relay and 375 miles of new out-of-face relay and 15 miles of rail with concrete tie installations. It plans to renew about 3.1 million ties. While the majority of those will be wood, it plans to install 160,000 concrete ties and 100,000 composite ties. The railroad plans about 428 miles of production ballast undercutting and 2,516 miles of production shoulder ballast cleaning.

BNSF will also work on 139 bridges and structures as part of the 2010 capital plan. A focus is rebuilding its Mississippi River Bridge in Burlington, Iowa.

That bridge work is backed by $28 million in stimulus funds and other federal dollars from the Coast Guard's Truman Hobbs program to fix navigation hazards. Boileau described the aging Burlington bridge as one of the "most-hit bridges in the U.S."