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Agreement Signed to Expand Capacity at Tower 55 in Fort Worth


A number of federal elected and appointed officials as well as state and local leaders were in Fort Worth, Texas, the afternoon of Sept. 1 to observe U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Texas Department of Transportation Commissioner Bill Meadows sign a federal grant agreement to expand rail capacity at Tower 55.

U.S. Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn, U.S. Reps. Kay Granger and Michael Burgess, Federal Railroad Administrator Joe Szabo, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and BNSF Chairman and CEO Matt Rose also participated at the signing ceremony in downtown Fort Worth.

Tower 55 is located near the intersection of BNSF and Union Pacific (UP) tracks close to downtown Fort Worth and is managed by UP. It is an extremely congested freight railroad intersection affecting up to 100 freight and passenger trains a day as well as commuters on the roadways that cross those tracks. The federal grant agreement will help fund construction of a new north-south main track, a redesigned rail signal and interlocker system, improvements to bridges, closure and renovation of several at-grade road and pedestrian crossings, and an underpass in adjacent neighborhoods.

The $103 million project includes $34 million in TIGER-II federal funding to pay for the public benefits. BNSF and UP are responsible for funding a total of $51 million for the project. The city of Fort Worth, the North Central Texas Council of Governments and the Texas Department of Transportation are also paying a portion of the project's price tag.

The Tower 55 project is expected to create 900 jobs and will enable the freight railroads that use the intersection to grow in the next 15 years without having to worry about capacity problems in the central Fort Worth area, several officials have said. The project is expected to begin in April 2012 and be completed in early 2014.

BNSF Headquarters

BNSF Railway Company
2650 Lou Menk Dr. 2nd Floor
P.O. Box 961057
Fort Worth, TX 76161-0057
Phone: (817) 352-1000

For more information on the company and its transportation solutions, visit the BNSF Web site at www.bnsf.com

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