FORT WORTH, TEXAS, Oct. 19, 2017 – BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) announced Farmrail System as its 2017 Shortline of the Year today at its annual Shortline Conference. Farmrail, a holding company for Class III carriers Grainbelt Corporation (GNBC) and Farmrail Corporation (FMRC), was recognized by BNSF for its entrepreneurial spirit and diligence in attracting new customers.
"In less than one month, Farmrail was able to replace 8,400 crossties and more than 10,000 tons of ballast to revitalize a siding and capture new business," said Merril Lieb, assistant vice president, BNSF Shortline Development. "It is Farmrail's commitment to growth and teamwork with BNSF that led us to select them as our Shortline of the Year."
Located near the 50,000 square mile Anadarko Basin hydrocarbon reserve situated in western Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle, the Farmrail System primarily moves agricultural products and supplies for hydraulic fracturing, such as frac sand.
In 2016, Farmrail hauled 24.8 percent more than in the previous year – the third record-setting year in the company's history.
"We are always looking for innovative ways to attract new business and keep freight moving for our customers," said Judy A. Petry, president and general manager of Farmrail System. "This year, we've brought on three new customers, and see continued growth across the industries we serve."
As part of this year's event BNSF also awarded Minnesota Northern (MNN) with a special recognition award for consistently providing quality service to customers along its 125 miles of track in northwestern Minnesota. Formed in 1996, after purchasing track from the then newly-formed Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Minnesota Northern primarily hauls agricultural products, including grain, grain products, sugar, animal feeds and fertilizers. From 2015 to 2016, Minnesota Northern worked to increase the number of unit train originations by nearly 61 percent. It also played a key role in developing a new shuttle facility in Beltrami, Minn.
Farmrail System, Inc. is an employee-owned holding company for two Class III common-carrier railroads comprising "Western Oklahoma's Regional Railroad." Farmrail Corporation (FMRC) has acted since 1981 as a lessee-operator for Oklahoma Department of Transportation, managing an 82-mile east-west line between Weatherford and Erick. An additional 89 miles, Westhom-Elmer, was purchased from the state in 2013 after 20 years of operation under lease. Another wholly owned affiliate, Grainbelt Corporation (GNBC), was formed in 1987 to purchase from Burlington Northern Railroad Company 178 miles of line linking Enid and Frederick. The parent company also has a joint-venture interest in New York's Finger Lakes Railway Corp. (FGLK).
About Minnesota Northern
Minnesota Northern Railroad (MNN) is a Class III shortline railroad headquartered in Crookston, Minn. It operates more than 125 miles of track in northwestern Minnesota and is owned by KBN Incorporated. MNN interchanges with BNSF Railway, as well as two other rail lines.
BNSF named Farmrail System as its 2017 Shortline of the Year, citing Farmrail's entrepreneurial
spirit and diligence in attracting new customers.
BNSF awarded Minnesota Northern (MNN) with a special recognition award for consistently
providing quality service to customers.
BNSF Railway is one of North America's leading freight transportation companies. BNSF operates approximately 32,500 route miles of track in 28 states and also operates in three Canadian provinces. BNSF is one of the top transporters of consumer goods, grain and agricultural products, low-sulfur coal, and industrial goods such as petroleum, chemicals, housing materials, food and beverages. BNSF's shipments help feed, clothe, supply, and power American homes and businesses every day. BNSF and its employees have developed one of the most technologically advanced, and efficient railroads in the industry. We work continuously to improve the value of the safety, service, energy, and environmental benefits we provide to our customers and the communities we serve. You can learn more about BNSF at www.BNSF.com.