BNSF End of Year Message from Katie Farmer
Dear BNSF Customer,
As we approach the end of the year, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your business, highlight 2014 developments which positively impacted our intermodal and automotive networks and provide you some insight into our plans for 2015.
This was a year of transition for BNSF. Strong volumes have impacted the service you have come to expect from us and that we expect from ourselves. In 2014, we committed 5 billion dollars in capital expenditures to maintain and grow our network. We kicked off a number of intermodal and automotive specific projects. When combined with other network expansion initiatives, BNSF ended up revising our 2014 capital spend to 5.5 billion dollars - the largest spend ever in a single year by any railroad.
Projects in 2014 which positively impacted service while providing additional capacity for our intermodal network include: completion of the Tower 55 project. Located near downtown Fort Worth, Texas, Tower 55 is one of the busiest and most congested railroad intersections in the U.S. As many as 100 freight and passenger trains move through the area every day. With the completion of this project, network fluidity has benefitted traffic moving through this key area.
We have kicked off double track, line-capacity expansion projects to address the remaining Transcon bottlenecks. In all, we have invested more than 3 billion dollars over the last 10 years double tracking nearly all of this route and making this the fastest intermodal route connecting Southern California to the Midwest. When complete in 2015, nearly all of the Transcon will be double tracked and even triple tracked in some areas. In addition, we have completed several terminal expansions in the Chicago area and added 800 new container and trailer parking spots at three Chicago hub facilities. We also expanded our Houston Intermodal Hub facility in Pearland, TX to allow us to handle growing business in and out of this market.
In our Auto network, we moved into our new Big Lift automotive facility, serving Denver and the state of Colorado. This 57-acre facility has more than three times the acreage of our previous facility and offers more capacity and greater highway access. We also increased track capacity for loading operations at our San Diego, Albuquerque and Pearland Hubs and we increased automotive parking capacity at our Portland, Logistics Park Chicago (LPC) and Albuquerque facilities.
We were able to double our auto facility capacity in Kansas City, as a result of transition of all intermodal business to Logistics Park Kansas (LPKC), which opened in late 2013. LPKC is another example of our growth initiatives with current capacity of 550,000 annual lifts and future growth capacity that can scale to 1.5 million lifts. The more than 440 acres of developable property at LPKC offers opportunities for current and future customers to grow.
BNSF Railway, in joint service with Ferromex (FXE), initiated a new 6th morning intermodal service between Chicago, Illinois and Silao, Guanajuato, Mexico. The new service offering is the first and only direct Intermodal service to connect the Midwest to the Heart of the Bajio Region.
As we think about 2015, we are optimistic about our future as we look to return to growth. In November, we announced our 2015 capital plan will total 6 billion dollars of investment which is an increase of more than 500 million dollars over our record investment in 2014. The added capacity will help us handle future volumes and allow BNSF Railway to continue to grow in support of our customers.
Please know your business is important to us.
Thank you for choosing BNSF Railway as your transportation service provider and have a wonderful holiday season.
Group Vice President, Consumer Products