BNSF Railway plans to spend $2.4 billion in 2010 on capital improvements including track upgrades and freight cars, a drop of 10 percent from 2009 as it expects to make fewer purchases of locomotives.
The company said some of its investment will go “to upgrade technologies, including the unfunded mandate for positive train control” – those automated safety systems that can override locomotive cab crews and slow or shut down a train’s engines to avoid a crash. Congress is requiring railroads to develop and deploy them by the end of 2015.
The spending plan projects buying about 170 locomotives this year for $320 million, while the other $2.1 billion will go into track work, signal systems, structures, railcars and technology.
BNSF is slated to become a fully owned unit this quarter of Berkshire Hathaway, which has pledged to keep investing in the railroad’s infrastructure.
Matthew K. Rose, the company’s chairman, president and CEO, said that with the 2010 capital budget, “we remain committed to making the necessary investments to protect and grow the value of our franchise despite an uncertain economic environment.”
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