BNSF Railway operates one of the largest railroad networks in North America. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Burlington Northern Santa Fe, the company provides freight transportation over a network of about 32,000 route miles of track across two-thirds of the western US and two provinces in Canada. About 23,000 miles of that track are company owned, while the remainder is owned and permitted by other railroads. BNSF Railway owns or leases a fleet of about 6,700 locomotives. It also has some 30 intermodal facilities that help to transport agricultural, consumer, and industrial products, as well as coal. In addition to major cities and ports, BNSF Railway serves smaller markets in alliance with short-line partners.
BNSF Railway's freight revenues are well diversified among consumer products, such as appliances, clothing and shoes, electronics, toys and games, and home decor items; coal; agricultural products, such as wheat, corn, soybeans, feeds, malt, ethanol, and fertilizer; and industrial products, including construction and building materials, petroleum, chemicals, plastics, and food and beverages.
BNSF Railway announced a planned 2011 capital program valued at $3.5 billion to strengthen its infrastructure. The largest component of the plan is spending $2 billion on its core network and related technology assets. It also plans to spend about $450 million to acquire about 230 locomotives and another $350 million on freight car and other equipment acquisitions. The company hopes these measures will improve the efficiency of its freight transportation operations and help it gain more rail market share. This capital commitment follows one of the deepest recessions in US history and cost-cutting measures, including layoffs and the curtailment of intermodal hub expansion projects, undertaken by BNSF Railway in 2009. – less