In order to ensure the continuation of a safe and reliable rail network, the company claims that this year’s plan in Oklahoma remains focused on maintenance projects. The largest component of this year’s capital plan in the state will be for replacing and upgrading rail, rail ties and ballast, which are the main parts for the tracks on which the company’s trains operate.
Over the last five years, BNSF has invested approximately US$630 million in the expansion and maintenance of its Oklahoma network. In 2018, the maintenance program in the state includes approximately 620 miles of track surfacing and/or undercutting work, as well as the replacement of almost 30 miles of rail and over 230 000 ties. On the Avard Subdivision that runs between Avard and Tulsa, BNSF claims that a new siding will be installed near Hopeton.
Janssen Thompson, general manager of operations, Red River Division, said: “Each year, BNSF hauls approximately 28 000 carloads of wheat, corn, soybeans and other agricultural products from Oklahoma to domestic markets and to the ports for export. We also move the fertilizer that helps those crops grow, in addition to consumer products, construction materials and energy products.
“The maintenance projects BNSF has planned for this year will help ensure the safe and reliable movement of freight in Oklahoma and our entire rail network.”
The 2018 planned capital investments in the state are part of the company’s US$3.3 billion network-wide CAPEX program that was announced in January this year. These investments include US$2.4 billion to replace and maintain core network and related assets, approximately US$500 million for expansion and efficiency projects and US$100 million for the continued implementation of positive train control (PTC). The capital plan will also include US$300 million for freight cars and other equipment acquisitions.