BNSF Railway profits increased 28 percent in the first quarter as freight revenues grew to a record $3.37 billion, which BNSF attributed to growth in volume, rates and fuel surcharges.
Overall unit volume increased 5 percent in the first quarter compared with the same period in 2005. The growth was led by BNSF's intermodal business, which grew 6 percent, and coal volume which grew 5 percent. The railroad had double-digit revenue increases in the quarter in each of its four business groups.
BNSF was also able to improve operating efficiency in the quarter, as its operating ratio improved to 76.5 percent from 78.1 percent in first quarter 2005.