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BNSF posts higher Q3 operating income, lower revenue

Rail News Home BNSF Railway 11/5/2019 Rail News: BNSF Railway
image BNSF Railway Co. reported third-quarter operating income rose 3 percent to $2.2 billion, while total revenue fell 2 percent to $6 billion compared with the same period a year ago.Increased rates per car were partially offset by a 3 percent decrease in unit volume caused by flooding on parts of the network, according to an income statement on BNSF's website. BNSF is owned by Berkshire Hathaway Inc.Year over year, BNSF's third-quarter results also showed:
• Consumer products volume fell 1 percent primarily due to lower intermodal volumes.
• Industrial products volume decreased 3 percent primarily due to overall softness in the industrial sector, lower sand volume and reduced car loadings. Strength in the energy sector, which drove higher demand for petroleum products and liquefied petroleum gas, partially offset the decrease in other volumes.
• Agricultural products volume slumped 6 percent due to export competition from non-U.S. sources and the impact of changes in international trade policies.
• Coal volume dropped 4 percent partly due to the impact of lower natural gas prices.On the expense side of the ledger, third-quarter operating expenses fell 5 percent to $3.8 billion from $4 billion last year.The railroad's third-quarter operating ratio was 62.6 percent versus 64.5 percent a year ago.BNSF also announced that its 2019 capital expenditures plan will cost $3.67 billion, or $100 million higher than previously announced, "with a continued emphasis on maintaining and expanding its network."

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BNSF identifies six rail-served industrial sites ready for development

Rail News Home BNSF Railway 10/31/2019 Rail News: BNSF Railway
image The map shows BNSF's Certified Sites.Photo – BNSF Railway Co.

BNSF Railway Co. yesterday announced six new industrial locations have been awarded the Class I's Certified Sites designation.

Four of the sites are the first for their state in Arizona, Minnesota, Mississippi and Missouri. Two new sites were named in Illinois, bringing that state's count to four, BNSF officials said in a press release.

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Willmar rail connector project is starting to take shape, MnDOT says

Rail News Home BNSF Railway 10/7/2019 Rail News: BNSF Railway
image Construction has begun on a rail connector and industrial access project involving BNSF Railway Co. in Willmar, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) reported last week.Known as Willmar Wye, the project is a public-private partnership between BNSF, MnDOT, Kandiyohi County and the city of Willmar to build a new rail line bypass on the city's west side.The project includes the realignment of Highway 12 and the reconstruction of Highway 40, including two new bridges. It will create a direct connection for BNSF traffic between two existing main track subdivisions, the Morris subdivision and the Marshall subdivision, according to MnDOT's project update.Those subdivisions serve local, regional and national rail customers in northwest, Midwest and southern states.Road construction began in July and is expected to wrap up in fall 2021. Rail construction is scheduled to begin in spring 2021 and end in fall 2022.As of last week, work crews began placing storm sewer pipes in the roundabout at U.S. 12 and Country Road 5. They continued constructing bridge approach embankments on highways 12 and 40 and County Road 55. The Hawk Creek diversion channel is begin dug to facilitate the placement of a box culvert under Highway 40, MnDOT officials said.The contractor team's major participants are Hoffman Construction Co., Lunda Construction Co. and Bolton & Menck Inc.

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U.S. Coast Guard approves BNSF's Idaho rail bridge plan

Rail News Home BNSF Railway 9/9/2019 Rail News: BNSF Railway
image BNSF Railway Co.'s proposal to build two bridges as part of a second rail line in northern Idaho meets federal environmental requirements, the U.S. Coast Guard announced last week.BNSF wants to construct railroad bridges across Lake Pend Oreille and Sand Creek at Sandpoint in Bonner County, Idaho. As structures over U.S. navigable waters, the proposed bridges required a Coast Guard permit. In releasing its final environmental assessment, the Coast Guard announced it found the bridge project would have no significant impact on the environment, according to Sept. 5 notice in the Federal Register.BNSF proposed the project because the current single-track configuration has become an operational constraint, resulting in congestion on the railroad's mainline, yards and sidings as trains wait for clearance to cross the existing single-track bridges.Moreover, trains waiting to cross often block vehicular traffic at public and private grade crossings. According to BNSF, the project will relieve the congestion and allow for a more efficient movement of trains through the Lake Pend Oreille region.

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Report: BNSF challenges Oklahoma grade-crossing law

Rail News Home BNSF Railway 8/23/2019 Rail News: BNSF Railway
image BNSF filed a lawsuit over the Oklahoma law in federal court.Photo – BNSF Railway Co.

BNSF Railway Co. is challenging in federal court an Oklahoma law that requires railroads operating in the state to minimize blocking grade crossings for longer than 10 minutes without good reason, an Oklahoma newspaper reported today.

The suit, which the Class I filed yesterday in Oklahoma City, targets Oklahoma's elected corporation commissioners and two cities' police departments that have cited the railroad for violations so far, The Oklahoman reported.

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