BNSF: $2.4 billion for infrastructure
BNSF Railway Co. said Thursday it will spend $2.4 billion on equipment and infrastructure in 2010, down $240 million from last year due to fewer expected locomotive acquisitions.
Despite the economic downturn and reduced profits, railroads like BNSF are continuing to maintain high levels of capital expenditure. Operating income fell from $3.9 billion in 2008 to almost $3.3 billion last year, in part due to lower fuel surcharge collections as fuel prices moderated off their highs, parent company Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. said in last week's fourth quarter earnings report.
BNSF said it expects to spend about $2.1 billion on track, signal systems, structures, freight cars and technology upgrades such as positive train control mandated by Congress. PTC is a controversial form of automated braking intended to prevent accidents caused by human error.
The company also plans to acquire 170 locomotives at a cost of about $320 million.
'We remain committed to making the necessary investments to protect and grow the value of our franchise despite an uncertain economic environment,' said Matthew K. Rose, chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement.