BNSF expanding Bakken rail capacity

By Emily Aasand | January 21, 2015

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company recently announced its 2015 capital projects, revealing plans of investing roughly $1.5 billion across eight states for engineering and expansion projects.

BNSF’s North Region has experienced the most rapid growth in recent years and is a destination point for materials that support the production of crude oil in the Bakken.

BNSF plans to invest approximately $700 million in the North Region to expand rail capacity and continue the implementation of Positive Train Control technology. States included in the North Region are Minnesota, Illinois, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin.

Expansion projects in the North Region include:

-Continue to install double track on the Glasgow subdivision between Minot, North Dakota, and Snowden, Montana, located in the far western part of the state.

-Extend the siding on the Dickinson subdivision located between Mandan, North Dakota, and Glendive, Montana, and expand the terminal at the Dickinson yard to accommodate expected growth in single car volumes.

-Convert the entire Devils Lake subdivision, located between Minot, North Dakota, and Grand Forks, North Dakota, to centralize train control, which will improve capacity for freight operation while improving on-time performance of passenger trains.

-Complete implementation of centralized train control on the Hillsboro subdivision, located in eastern North Dakota. Upgrade connection track between the Hillsboro subdivision and the Devils Lake subdivision to permit faster train speeds.

“Building on the 2014 capacity increases, we will continue investing in our railroad to make us ever more capable of getting agriculture, energy supplies and a wide range of consumer and industrial products where they want to go,” said Carl Ice, BNSF president and CEO. “At BNSF, we believe strongly in working with our customers to help them supply the world with food, energy and products that grow and build our economy. These unprecedented capital investments demonstrate to our customers how deeply committed we are to building a prosperous future for all of us.”

For more on the Bakken, follow us on Twitter @TheBakkenMag