The company said this year's plan in Montana remains focused on maintenance projects to ensure it continues to operate a safe and reliable rail network. The largest component of this year's capital plan in the state will be for replacing and upgrading rail, rail ties and ballast, which are the main components for the tracks on which BNSF trains operate.

“Maintaining a safe and reliable network is one way BNSF works to keep Montana's economy moving. Freight rail connects Montana’s farmers and lumber producers with the major U.S. markets, and with exports facilities ready to move their products overseas. Rail is also a vital component of getting the people of Montana the consumer products they need,” said Jon Gabriel, general manager of operations, Montana Division.

The 2018 planned capital investments in the state are part of BNSF’s USD 3.3bn network-wide capital expenditure program announced last month. These investments include USD 2.4bn to replace and maintain core network and related assets, approximately USD 500M on expansion and efficiency projects and USD 100M for continued implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC). BNSF is the only Class I freight railroad to have completed the installation of PTC on all its federally mandated subdivisions and is currently running hundreds of trains daily with PTC as it tests revenue service across its mandated territory. Another element of its capital plan will be USD 300M for freight cars and other equipment acquisitions.