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BNSF to spend nearly $4B on capital improvements, maintenance

Majority of funding designated for maintenance of railroad’s network

BNSF has planned to invest nearly $4 billion for capital and maintnance projects in 2023. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Western U.S. railroad BNSF plans to invest $3.96 billion in capital and maintenance projects in 2023.

The investments will help BNSF operate a safe and reliable network, the railroad said Thursday. BNSF is privately owned by Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.B).

“Our capital plan reflects our growth mindset and commitment to having the capacity and equipment we need to support our customers,” BNSF President and CEO Katie Farmer said in a news release. “Continued investment in our network through our capital plans helps ensure we run a safe, efficient and growing railroad that provides customers with the service they expect from BNSF.”

Of the nearly $4 billion, $2.85 billion will go toward the maintenance of BNSF’s network and related assets, with $402 million going toward equipment acquisitions. This includes replacing and upgrading rail and track infrastructure, such as ballast and rail ties, as well as maintaining rolling stock, BNSF said. Maintenance will consist of nearly 14,000 miles of track surfacing and undercutting work, as well as the replacement of 346 miles of rail and approximately 2.8 million rail ties.

BNSF expects to dole out $700 million for expansion and efficiency projects. The expansion projects support growth in BNSF’s segments for intermodal and automotive, agricultural and industrial products.

The projects include:


  • Construction of a second bridge over the Missouri River at Sibley, Missouri, in order to double track one of the last segments of single track along BNSF’s Southern Transcon route, which runs between the West Coast and the Midwest. 
  • The addition of several segments of new track in eastern Kansas and Southern California.
  • Construction of a terminal and fueling station near Belen, New Mexico.
  • Completion of a second main track expansion in Fort Worth, Texas.
  • The addition of double track near Spokane, Washington, that will also go over the Spokane River and will include a siding near Pasco, Washington.
  • Continued work on intermodal facility expansion projects in Stockton, California, and Chicago.
  • Track efficiency projects in San Bernardino, California, that will include property acquisitions in the Barstow area related to BNSF’s Barstow international gateway project. 

The funding for expansion projects complements the nearly $2.5 billion that BNSF has invested in expansion projects over the past five years, the railroad said. 

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Joanna Marsh

Joanna is a Washington, DC-based writer covering the freight railroad industry. She has worked for Argus Media as a contributing reporter for Argus Rail Business and as a market reporter for Argus Coal Daily.