North American rail provider BNSF is planning to invest $5 billion in its network and services in 2014, around $1 billion more than last year’s spend. As part of its capital commitment programme for the year the company is spending $2.3 billion on core network and related assets and $1.6 billion on locomotive, freight car and other equipment acquisitions.
In addition, the programme includes about $200m for continued installation of positive train control (PTC) and approximately $900m for terminal, line and intermodal expansion and efficiency projects. PTC is a system for monitoring and controlling train movements designed to improve safety.
The company said expansion and efficiency projects will be primarily focused on line capacity improvements to accommodate growth in a range of areas including intermodal and automotive, as well as other terminal improvements to enhance productivity and velocity.
A spokesperson for BNSF said further details on the investment programme, including more information on automotive sector spend, would be released later in the year on a state-specific basis.
Last year BNSF committed $4.1 billion and made a number of investments in supporting services for the automotive industry. These included the expansion of its San Bernardino automotive facility in California, extensive upgrades to its automotive distribution facility at Orillia in Washington to meet an increase in traffic there, and expansion of its parking capacity at the automotive facility in St Paul, Minnesota, also to support new automobile traffic.