BNSF’s 2017 capital expenditure plan will be about $3.4 billion, which will include $175 million that will be invested in Washington state.
“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,” said Carl Ice, BNSF president and chief executive officer. “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.”
Similar to last year’s $3.9 billion plan, the largest component of the plan will be to replace and maintain BNSF’s core network and related assets. This year that component is expected to be $2.4 billion. The projects included in this part of the plan will primarily be for replacing and upgrading rail, rail ties and ballast (which are the main components for the tracks on which BNSF trains operate) and maintaining its rolling stock. This year’s maintenance program will include approximately 20,000 miles of track surfacing and/or undercutting work and the replacement of about 600 miles of rail and nearly 3 million rail ties. Rounding out the plan will be $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.
For Washington, BNSF’s maintenance program includes about 920 miles of track surfacing and/undercutting work, the replacement of nearly 30 miles of rail and close to 150,000 ties. This year’s capital projects in the state also include continuing the replacement of the Washougal River bridge in Camas and follow more than $650 million invested by BNSF in its network in Washington over the past four years.