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BNSF named one of America's best employers for women

Rail News Home BNSF Railway 9/8/2021 Rail News: BNSF Railway
image Katie Farmer Photo – bnsf.com

BNSF Railway Co. has made Forbes' list of America's Best Employers for Women 2021.

The steps BNSF has taken to support its female talent are reflected in its standing on this year’s list, where it climbed 203 places to No. 6, according to an article on the Forbes website.

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BNSF reopens Arkansas intermodal site

Rail News Home BNSF Railway 8/19/2021 Rail News: BNSF Railway
image BNSF Railway Co. has reopened its Harvard Intermodal Facility in Marion, Arkansas, to meet increased intermodal demand in the Memphis, Tennessee, region.All International intermodal shipments originating at the Port of Long Beach's Pier T Terminal in California will now terminate at BNSF's Harvard Intermodal Facility, the Class I announced this week.The facility is located 27 miles northwest of BNSF's Memphis Intermodal Hub.
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BNSF scores solid Q2 financial results

BNSF Railway Co.’s financial performance was promising in the second quarter, with total revenue up 26% to $5.8 billion, operating income up 28% to $2.2 billion and net income up 34% to $1.5 billion on a year-over-year basis.

In addition, total traffic jumped 24% to 2.6 million units and the railroad’s operating ratio improved 0.7 points to 60.4. The higher volume was partially offset by a 2% drop in average revenue per car/unit in 2021’s first half resulting from business mix changes, BNSF officials said in a Q2 performance summary posted on the Class Is’ website.

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BNSF announces two new 'certified' development sites

Rail News Home BNSF Railway 7/1/2021 Rail News: BNSF Railway
image BNSF Railway Co. has given two new locations in Montana and Texas its Certified Sites designation. The Class I now has four certified sites in Montana and three in Texas. To earn the designation, sites must undergo a thorough analysis that includes an evaluation of environmental and geotechnical standards, available utilities, site availability, and existing and projected infrastructure, BNSF officials said in a news release. The goal of the Certified Sites program is to provide an inventory of rail-served sites that are available for immediate development, they said. So far, BNSF offers 29 of the sites, all of which provide direct rail service. The two newly-designated Certified Sites, which feature acreage ready for industrial development, are: • Somerville Industrial in Somerville, Texas, which offers 103 acres without zoning requirements or restrictions and is located east of State Highway 36, about 20 miles outside of Bryan-College Station; and • Fort Peck Tribal Industrial Park in Poplar, Montana, which is zoned for heavy industrial. The site encompasses 45 acres located north of U.S. Highway 2 on the Fort Peck Reservation outside city limits. Certified Sites are a part of the Class I's Premier Parks, Sites and Transload program, which addresses increasing demand for customer site locations by developing various types of facilities across the railroad's network, BNSF officials said.       
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BNSF releases 2020 annual report

Rail News Home BNSF Railway 6/25/2021 Rail News: BNSF Railway
image BNSF Railway Co. has released its annual report for 2020, including comments by President and Chief Executive Officer Katie Farmer, that highlighted a challenging year. "From the pandemic's start, we focused on protecting the health of our employees as well as keeping our trains moving. I'm humbled by the unwavering commitment of our team to deliver critical supplies as we kept freight flowing and distribution centers stocked," she said in the report While the first part of 2021 included the loss of three BNSF employees in work-related incidents, Farmer said BNSF made progress on safety issues as the year continued.  "Our mechanical team achieved their best-ever frequency performance in 2020 and engineering came close to matching theirs. As we continue to navigate the challenges brought on by the pandemic, we must remain focused on the well-being and safety of our employees, and I am confident that working together we can achieve our safety vision," she wrote. The report also includes BNSF's activities in the areas of diversity and inclusion; sustainability; and service. Read the report here. 
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BNSF to serve new canola processing facility in Saskatchewan

Rail News Home BNSF Railway 5/25/2021 Rail News: BNSF Railway
image Ceres Global Ag Corp. today announced plans today to build a $350 million integrated canola processing facility in Northgate, Saskatchewan, to help meet the current and growing global demand for canola products. Expected to open in summer 2024, the facility will have the capacity to process 1.1 million metric tons of canola and refine more than 500 thousand metric tons of canola oil annually, Ceres officials said in a press release. BNSF Railway Co. will serve the facility. "Demand for renewable diesel feedstocks is rapidly growing. The BNSF network is ideally suited to supply the production, processing and distribution of these feedstocks," said Jim Titsworth, BNSF's director of agricultural development. Ceres has been analyzing canola crush at Northgate for several years, as its location at the Canada-U.S. border is ideally located to originate canola seed from farmers, said Ceres President and Chief Executive Officer Robert Day. "With a direct connection to BNSF, the facility will provide the most efficient access to the U.S. market and ports," Day said. "Our Northgate facility includes a 2.7 million-bushel shuttle loading grain elevator and two 120-car loop tracks, providing 'construction-ready' infrastructure and shortening the timeline to complete this project."
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BNSF to operate contaminated rail under consent decree

Rail News Home BNSF Railway 9/4/2020 Rail News: BNSF Railway
image The consent decree affects BNSF property in northwest Montana.Photo – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Federal and state of Montana officials have proposed an agreement that would make BNSF Railway Co. responsible for maintaining and operating track that the railroad is accused of contaminating with asbestos.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Montana Department of Environmental Quality and BNSF proposed in a consent decree that the Class I would implement an operation and a maintenance plan, a health and safety plan and institutional controls to minimize risk to railroad workers and the surrounding community from low levels of asbestos within the Operable Unit 6 of the Libby Asbestos Superfund Site in Lincoln County, Montana.

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BNSF unveils newly painted locomotives to recognize 25th anniversary

Rail News Home BNSF Railway 8/27/2020 Rail News: BNSF Railway
image The General Electric ES44AC No. 5828 now displays a "25th Anniversary" label on the nose and side, as well as predecessor railroads that are part of BNSF's history.Photo – BNSF Railway Co.

BNSF Railway Co. recently unveiled the first of 10 locomotives with special paint schemes marking the railroad's 25th anniversary.

The General Electric ES44AC No. 5828 now displays a "25th Anniversary" label on the nose and side, as well as predecessor railroads that are part of BNSF's history: Burlington Northern; Santa Fe Railway; Great Northern; Northern Pacific; Spokane, Portland & Seattle; Colorado & Southern; and the Frisco, BNSF officials said in the Class I's Inside Track newsletter.

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BNSF honors customers for hazmat safety

Rail News Home BNSF Railway 8/18/2020 Rail News: BNSF Railway
image Companies receiving the award transported an established minimum of loaded tank cars of hazardous materials with zero non-accident releases during last year's full transportation cycle, BNSF officials said.Photo – bnsf.com

BNSF Railway Co. recently recognized 106 customers with its annual Product Stewardship Award for the safe transportation of hazardous materials by rail during 2019. 

Companies receiving the award transported an established minimum of loaded tank cars of hazardous materials with zero non-accident releases during last year's full transportation cycle, BNSF officials said in a press release.

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BNSF's Q2 revenue tumbled 22 percent on lower volumes

Rail News Home BNSF Railway 8/10/2020 Rail News: BNSF Railway
image BNSF Railway Co. reported second-quarter 2020 revenue declined 22 percent to $4.6 billion from $5.9 billion, while operating income fell 14 percent to $1.7 billion from $2 billion during the same quarter last year. The Class I attributed the revenue and operating income declines primarily to an 18 percent decrease in volume. In addition, average revenue per car fell 5 percent during the quarter driven by a one-time favorable outcome of an arbitration hearing recognized in Q1 2019 and lower fuel surcharges, BNSF officials said in a financial statement posted on the railroad's website. BNSF's Q2 2020 net income tumbled 15 percent to $1.1 billion from $1.3 billion a year ago. Operating expenses fell 26 percent during the quarter, to $2.87 billion from $3.88 billion. The decrease reflects lower volume-related costs, productivity improvements and lower costs related to improved weather conditions. The Class I posted a Q2 operating ratio of 61.1 percent, down from 64.8 percent a year ago. BNSF's volume decreases during the quarter were primarily the result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which negative affected volumes beginning late in Q1 and continued through Q2. The decrease in volume during the quarter also resulted from the following:
• Consumer product volume fell 12 percent primarily due to lower international intermodal and automotive volumes due to the pandemic.
• Industrial product volumes fell 26 percent, primarily due to a pandemic-related decrease in U.S. industrial production and reduced demand in the energy sector.
• Agricultural products volumes decreased 7 percent, primarily due to the pandemic's impact on ethanol and related commodities and due to lower net exports.
• Coal volume plummeted 34 percent, primarily due to lower electricity demand driven by the pandemic and a mild winter, as well as low natural gas prices and plant retirements.

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MnDOT: Willmar rail connector project making progress

Rail News Home BNSF Railway 6/3/2020 Rail News: BNSF Railway
image Rail construction is slated to begin in spring 2021 and end in fall 2022. BNSF will carry out the railway final design and construction.Photo – Minnesota Department of Transportation

Construction is advancing on a rail connector and industrial access project involving BNSF Railway Co. in Willmar, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) reported this 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.

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BNSF advances bridge projects in Idaho, Washington

Rail News Home BNSF Railway 5/15/2020 Rail News: BNSF Railway
image BNSF Railway is building a second rail bridge over Lake Pend Oreille adjacent to an existing rail bridge.Photo – BNSF Railway Co.

Work is advancing on two BNSF Railway Co. bridges this spring, one near Sandpoint, Idaho, and the other over Drano Lake in Skamania County, Washington.

BNSF is continuing work on a temporary rail bridge over Lake Pend Oreille near Sandpoint. Construction crews are building a second rail bridge adjacent to the existing rail bridge, and are currently working on a temporary span. That span will be taller than the eventual permanent bridge, which will be the same height as the existing bridge that BNSF is replacing, BNSF officials said in a recent company newsletter.

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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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BNSF posts higher Q2 income, lower operating ratio

Rail News Home BNSF Railway 8/6/2019 Rail News: BNSF Railway
image BNSF Railway Co. reported second-quarter 2019 revenue rose 0.3 percent to $5.89 billion, while operating income jumped 7 percent to $2 billion compared with the same period last year, the Class I announced yesterday.Revenue and operating income increases were attributed in part to higher revenue per car/unit. The railroad posted the increases despite a 4 percent decrease in unit volume for the quarter due to severe winter weather and flooding conditions on parts of its network, according to a financial statement posted on BNSF's website.Operating expenses for the quarter fell 3 percent to $3.89 billion, while net income climbed 2 percent to $1.34 billion. BNSF posted a Q2 operating ratio of 64.8 percent, compared to 66.8 percent a year ago.Also during Q2 compared with a year ago, BNSF reported consumer product volumes declined 6 percent; industrial product volumes were flat; agricultural product volumes fell 4 percent and coal volumes ticked up 1 percent.BNSF is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

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BNSF to serve Ceres Global's new hydrocarbon transloading venture

Rail News Home BNSF Railway 6/7/2019 Rail News: BNSF Railway
image The joint venture's facilities will be located at Ceres' Northgate rail terminal in Saskatchewan, Canada, which is served by BNSF Railway Co.Photo – Ceres Global Ag, Youtube

Ceres Global Ag Corp. has established a yet-to-be-named joint venture with Steel Reef Infrastructure Corp. that will focus on transloading hydrocarbon products for transportation between the United States and Canada.

The joint venture's facilities will be located at Ceres' Northgate rail terminal in Saskatchewan, Canada, which is served by BNSF Railway Co. The joint venture will begin operations July 1, according to a Ceres press release.

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BNSF posts higher revenue, income in Q1; Buffett warms to PSR, report says

BNSF Railway Co. reported its first-quarter 2019 operating income rose 2 percent to $1.8 billion, total revenue climbed 2 percent to $5.76 billion and net income jumped 9 percent to $1.25 billion compared with the same period a year ago.

The Class I attributed its growth in total revenue to higher rates per car, a favorable outcome of an arbitration hearing and higher fuel surcharges, according to a quarterly financial summary posted on bnsf.com.

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Toyota honors BNSF for rail logistics excellence

Rail News Home BNSF Railway 4/25/2019 Rail News: BNSF Railway
image BNSF Railway Co. has received the 2018 President's Award for Rail Logistics Excellence from Toyota Logistics Services for the fifth consecutive year.The award is Toyota's highest supplier honor to recognize service partners that demonstrate excellence in quality, customer service, continuous improvement and on-time performance."Our goal is always the safe and reliable transportation of freight, including finished vehicles," said Dave Fleenor, BNSF's assistant vice president of automotive marketing, in a press release. "Earning this recognition from Toyota for the fifth consecutive year shows our dedication to move our automotive customers’ products efficiently and without damage."Last year, BNSF handled more than 560,000 Toyota and Lexus vehicles throughout the United States and Canada. BNSF also received Toyota Logistics Services’ Logistics Excellence Awards for kaizen (continuous improvement) and for customer service.

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