December 2018 • The latest from the Pacific Northwest
Making holiday wishes come true
BNSF and our transportation service partners work hand-in-hand, coordinating to ensure loved ones and packages arrive at their destinations on time, through all kinds of weather. BNSF expects to deliver more than 70 million packages during the holiday season with analysts estimating holiday retail sales topping $1 trillion this year.
“Remaining agile and finding alternative ways to get shipments to their destinations on time are how we meet our customers’ expectations during this critical time of year,” says Rob Reilly, vice president, BNSF South Region Operations.
Happy holidays and best wishes for 2019!
Ensuring safe and reliable transit through Avalanche Alley
Winter months bring extreme and unpredictable weather in the Pacific Northwest. BNSF has the tools, training and resources, including our avalanche safety program, to safely and reliably respond. Avalanche forecasters are utilized throughout a mountainous, avalanche-prone section in Glacier National Park near Essex, Montana.
When pre-emptive actions are necessary, the Daisybell, an environmentally-sensitive technology device purchased by BNSF, is employed. By igniting a mixture of oxygen and hydrogen, the tool creates a concussion wave that causes a controlled slide. Proactive and effective avalanche safety helps BNSF keep tracks clear and trains safely moving people and freight to their journey’s end.
Partnering effectively to address community needs
The BNSF Railway Foundation rounded out a year of giving with contributions to key organizations that make significant impacts in the communities we serve including:
Inchelium Language and Culture Association
Inchelium is committed to the revitalization and preservation of tribal languages of the traditional territories of Colville people including Southern British Columbia. BNSF contributed $20,000 to the advanced learners program supporting Inchelium’s mission of retaining these traditional languages at the highest levels. Learn more here: incheliumlanguagehouse.com.
Klamath Basin Senior Center
Based in Klamath Falls, Ore., the center provides a range of activities, events and information including fitness, games, technology, literature, writing and arts. They support Meals on Wheels, provide congregant meals at no cost for those more than 60 years old, and host community and fundraising bingo events. BNSF proudly donated $5,000 to the center’s annual campaign. Learn more here: klamathseniorcenter.com/home.html.
BNSF contributed $25,000 to the new Opera Center at McCaw Hall, which consolidates and streamlines operations and creates an open and accessible community art asset. The “making of art” can be viewed, including rehearsals and costume making, and classrooms are available for community activities and apprentice programs. Learn more here: seattleopera.org/atthecenter/.
Replacing the Washougal River Bridge to meet future demands
BNSF is committed to ongoing maintenance and upgrading of its infrastructure – including bridges – to keep train traffic moving safely and efficiently. Originally built in 1908, the Washougal River Railroad Bridge at Camas, Wash. helped drive economic growth in the Pacific Northwest, but the bridge was in need of replacement to ensure safety and reliability for the next 100 years.
Three years of planning, preparation and execution went into the bridge replacement. BNSF used an innovative technique, building the new spans next to the existing bridge, then sliding the old spans to the side across beams, finally sliding the new ones into place. Careful attention was paid to fish and wildlife throughout the process, including relocation of any osprey nest.
Railway Age recently produced a leadership profile of BNSF’s Executive Chairman Matt Rose. Rose sat down with editor-in-chief William Vantuono for a wide-ranging interview reflecting on his distinguished career and exploring issues including safety, finances, growth, commuter rail and the future of railroads. A notable reflection from Rose: Less is not better. He states, “We are going to have to find ways as an industry to grow. It’s in the public’s best interest to move more tons to the railroad network, not off of it.”
Rose retires in April 2019 having ably led BNSF and positioned the railroad for the future. We thank him for his leadership and wish him well in future endeavors.
A recently released Washington Council on International Trade (WCIT) analysis concludes Washington state companies and workers gain from the newly signed US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Canada and Mexico are the U.S.’ second and third largest trading partners, and the two counties have been leading markets for Washington state goods exported including in the key areas of agriculture, dairy, digital trade and intellectual property. Key 2017 Washington statistics noted in the report include:
$9.8 billion in goods were exported to Canada and Mexico, representing 12.8% of all Washington state goods exports
$1.6 billion in services were exported to Canada and $963 million of services to Mexico, representing 10% of all Washington state services exports
More than 330,000 jobs in Washington state are tied to trade with Canada and Mexico