(Thousands of units, with year-over-year change)
When our customers are ready to grow, BNSF is ready to meet their needs. In 2019 our customers and local economic development organizations collectively invested $1.2 billion to establish or expand rail-served facilities. This level of investment is expected to generate 2,000 new jobs.
2019 Customer Investment Highlights:
Ag Processing Inc. – A $300 million investment led to the opening of its 10th soybean processing location in Aberdeen, South Dakota. Ag Processing Inc.’s newest facility is expected to process more than 50 million bushels of soybeans annually and create 60 new jobs.
Hostess Brands, LLC – Located in Edgerton, Kansas, the new distribution center supports 200 new jobs. The $35 million investment strengthens the company’s distribution strategy with a direct connection to the nation’s supply chain through Logistics Park Kansas City.
SeaCa Packaging – A subsidiary of Seattle-Tacoma Box Company, the plastics manufacturer invested $18 million in opening its first plant location in Surprise, Arizona, creating boxes for agriculture products and gaining access to demand in the Southwest.
Through the BNSF Site Certification Program, BNSF selects strategically located sites across our network and prepares them for immediate customer development. This significantly streamlines the development of rail-served locations, saving customers six to nine months of construction time.
In 2019, BNSF added eight new Certified Sites, bringing the total BNSF Certified Sites to 24.
New BNSF Certified Sites in 2019:
In 2019, BNSF replaced two bridges on our Fallbridge Subdivision. The first one in North Bonneville, Washington, runs across Hamilton Creek. The second one in Home Valley, Washington, involved the use of a distinctive float-in, float-out method. After erecting a new 260-foot truss bridge on a barge 60 miles down the Columbia River in Portland, Oregon, we shipped the barge to Home Valley. We moved in another barge, ballasted by about 2 million pounds of water, under the existing bridge, slowly releasing water until the barge rose up and lifted the old bridge off its existing foundations. Then we moved the new bridge on its barge to the site of the new location. Using strand jacks, it was lowered onto its new foundations. This challenging feat of engineering resulted in a much lighter environmental footprint for the project, with far less impact on local marine life and fishing enterprises.
We devote significant resources every year to make sure our network is optimized to meet our customers’ needs. Keeping the network well maintained limits the need for unscheduled service outages and maximizes the velocity and capacity we can deliver to customers.
BNSF is committed to growing with our customers, expanding as well as
establishing new facilities for carload and intermodal customers to meet their
growing capacity demands.
Logistics Center Hudson
In March 2019, BNSF broke ground on our new Logistics Center Hudson, which
will provide BNSF-rail-served sites that allow customers to reach Denver and
surrounding markets more easily. By investing directly in facilities in strategic
locations, BNSF helps customers save time and money in developing
Logistics Center Hudson:
25 miles northeast of Denver International Airport
30 miles north of downtown Denver
15 sites for customers who ship by the carload
Site for customers who ship by the trainload
Access to BNSF network
Access to I-76
Barstow Intermodal Facility
In July 2019, BNSF began eastbound and westbound service from our new Barstow Intermodal Facility, providing a new connection between Southern California and Chicago. The new premium container-only service unlocks additional capacity in this vital region, where transportation options are in extremely high demand.
Intermodal Facility Expansions
BNSF initiated a significant facility expansion project at our Alliance Intermodal Facility in Fort Worth, Texas. This multi-year project includes constructing new production tracks, increasing parking capacity and acquiring lift equipment. We also added more parking capacity at our Corwith Intermodal Facility in Chicago as well as our intermodal facilities in Denver, Phoenix and Portland, Oregon.
In 2019, BNSF added new service options for shippers between Southern California and the Ohio Valley region. These new services build on the popularity of recently introduced direct-rail intermodal service connecting Los Angeles, Stockton and the Ohio Valley region, providing our customers access to some of the fastest-growing industrial and consumer markets, including Toledo, Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Detroit, Louisville and Pittsburgh.
In 2019 BNSF:
Launched a new direct service between Stockton, California, and northwest Ohio.
Added Sunday morning eastbound service from our Los Angeles – Hobart facility to northwest Ohio.
Added a Monday morning westbound service from North Baltimore in northwest Ohio to Los Angeles – Hobart.
Beginning in March 2019, BNSF dealt with the impact of months of record flooding in the Midwest. Service was affected in portions of South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri. At one point, nearly every section of our railway in the Northern Plains or Upper Midwest was either partially or fully out of service due to flooding.
Areas especially impacted were the Hannibal Subdivision in Missouri north of St. Louis, the River Subdivision in Missouri and the Napier Subdivision in Iowa and Missouri.
While transit times were unavoidably impacted due to washouts and high water, the people of BNSF, particularly our Engineering teams, along with our valued contractors, rose to the occasion of restoring service as quickly and safely as possible. BNSF teams worked round the clock to clear affected locations and repair damaged tracks.
Re-routing trains wherever possible
Speed restrictions where necessary as areas came back into service
Ongoing track inspections by BNSF personnel
Use of drones to inspect areas unsafe for BNSF personnel
New 3,000-foot causeway constructed near Bartlett, Iowa
150+ route miles of track repaired and restored
2.2 million tons of material used to repair tracks
One customer needed to get corn to chickens in Arizona. Another needed to get hay to cattle in Saudi Arabia. We served both with one facility, and we were able to keep the cows, the chickens and the customers satisfied. Working with Rose Acre Farms, an egg producer in western Arizona, and the shortline railway, the Arizona & California, BNSF developed an agricultural shuttle facility capable of delivering two 100-covered hopper shuttle trains of corn to the farm every month. We were then able to leverage the facility to also serve another customer, Fondamonte, to replace an over-the-road component in their shipping of nutrient-rich hay to Saudi Arabia via our international intermodal service.
Did you get what you wanted last holiday season? There’s a good chance BNSF helped get it to you as we had a role in delivering more than 70 million packages. Indeed, the end of every year is our Peak Season, when we coordinate closely with package delivery companies to ensure items are delivered on time during this crucial period. In 2019, we delivered another Perfect Peak holiday shipping season, which means there were no service interruptions for one of the largest package delivery companies in the world!
BNSF is committed to providing the highest level of customer service, and we are pleased when our customers recognize our excellence.
Customer recognition in 2019 included:
Railway Industrial Clearance Association awards for Clearance Group of
the Year, Highest-Rated Railroad of the Year, Marketing Group of the Year and Highest-Rated Railroad for Operations/Transportation Performance
GoalZERO safety award from LyondellBasell
Toyota Logistics: President's Award for Rail Logistics Excellence – Best Railroad, fifth year in a row; Toyota Logistics Excellence Award for kaizen and customer service
Fiat Chrysler Automobile (FCA): FCA Logistics award; FCA Outstanding Railroad award
Honda: Origin-Loading Facility award; Destination-Loading Facility award
About 90 percent of the wheels used on BNSF trains come from our Havelock Wheel Plant in Lincoln, Nebraska. We are the only U.S. Class I railroad that owns and operates our own wheel shop, the largest in the United States. In 2019, the facility, which opened in 1978, rolled out a major achievement: its 3 millionth wheel set!
Click to get a glimspe of what's happening at BNSF