What U.S. Class Is are Doing

BNSF Railway Co. increased its capital program for the second year in a row. It will invest more than $100 million in expanding capacity in California and maintaining its tracks, facilities and equipment. Included are projects for enhancing the railroad’s intermodal facilities -- $26 million for expanded parking and increased stacking capacity at the Hobart facility and $9 million for parking expansion at the intermodal facility at San Bernardino. Too, there is a $16 million expansion of BNSF’s main line near East Barstow. Work continues on a third main line on the company’s Cajon subdivision.

Earlier this year, CSX Transportation signed a long-term agreement with Canadian National (CN) for the Canadian Class I to haul CSXT traffic to and from Sarnia, Ontario, and the CSXT connection in Buffalo and Toledo. Sarnia is a major petrochemical production region.

Before the agreement went into effect, CSXT customers in Sarnia had routing that would move freight to Chatham, Ontario and on to Windsor, Detroit, and Plymouth, Michigan and then into Toledo. Through the use of CN, customers will have more direct, faster service while CSXT maintains it commercial presence in the Sarnia region.

Norfolk Southern Corp. (NS) looks to continue the success it experienced in 2005 in helping with creation of new plants and expansions. During last year the railroad participated in locating 78 industrial facilities and supported expansion of 43 more industrial ventures along its lines. The largest project last year was the $600 million expansion of the Mercedes-Benz assembly plant at Vance, AL.

Plastics-related industrial developments were particularly strong for the railroad last year, with 17 new or expanded projects along NS rail lines. Other industries included grain elevators, cement plants, lumber and paper facilities, chemical plants, steel and food processors and distribution warehouses.

Targeted for completion in April has been UP’s $21.3 million track renewal project aimed at upgrading and enhancing its track in the Los Angeles Basin. A major portion of the project is replacement of wooden with concrete ties. The railroad is using its new track renewal train, the TRT 909, to install the new line. The train installs rail and ties in one pass and is capable of installing as many as 3,000 ties in an eight-hour day.

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