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BNSF posted higher net income, lower operating ratio in Q1

Rail News Home BNSF Railway 5/3/2021 Rail News: BNSF Railway
image BNSF Railway Co. posted first-quarter 2021 net income of $1.25 billion, up 5%, and operating income of $1.9 billion, up 4%, compared with the same period a year ago. The Class I posted an operating ratio of 63.7% in the quarter compared to 65.2% in Q1 2020, according to a financial report on bnsf.com. Total revenue for the quarter decreased 0.3% compared with the same period in 2020. The decrease was primarily due to a 5% increase in unit volume offset by a 5% decrease in average revenue per unit. The change in Q1 2021 revenue also resulted from the following:
• Average revenue per unit decreased as a result of business mix changes and lower fuel surcharge revenue due to lower fuel prices.
• Consumer products volumes increased 15%. Growth in both international and domestic intermodal shipments was driven by increased retail sales and inventory replenishments by retailers, along with increased e-commerce activity. Automotive volumes declined due to production impacts from a global microchip shortage.
• Agricultural products volumes increased 12% due to higher grain exports.
• Industrial products volumes decreased 13%. These changes were primarily due to reduced production and demand in the energy sector, which drove lower petroleum products and sand volume. In addition, shipments of chemicals, plastics and aggregates were lower due to winter storm related impacts to Texas and the U.S. Gulf Coast regions.
• Coal volumes decreased 12%. These changes were primarily due to lower utility demand in the early part of the quarter, along with severe winter weather which impacted deliveries. Operating expenses for the quarter fell 2%, which reflected increased volume-related costs and inflation, offset by productivity improvements and lower average fuel prices.

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BNSF posts lower revenue, higher income in Q4

BNSF Railway Co. today reported fourth-quarter 2020 revenue decreased 3% to $5.7 billion, but operating income rose 3% to $2.2 billion and net income climbed 5% to $1.5 billion compared with 2019's financial results.

The Class I attributed the lower revenue primarily to a 3% decrease in unit volume and a 6% decrease in average revenue per car, BNSF officials said in a financial performance summary posted on the Class I's website.

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BNSF advances pile installations at Sandpoint Connector project

Rail News Home BNSF Railway 2/22/2021 Rail News: BNSF Railway
image The project is designed to reduce congestion and help move current and future volumes more efficiently.Photo – BNSF Railway Co.

BNSF Railway Co. has resumed work on its Sandpoint Junction Connector project in Idaho, which involves construction of second bridges over Lake Pend Oreille and Bridge Street, as well as a new bridge over Sand Creek at the marina entrance.

Work was paused during the 2020 winter holiday season. This month, additional pile installations will continue at all work sites, BNSF reported in a company newsletter. 

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BNSF customers invested $1.1 billion in rail-served projects in 2020

Rail News Home BNSF Railway 2/10/2021 Rail News: BNSF Railway
image Logistics Park Kansas CityPhoto – Business Wire

BNSF Railway Co. yesterday reported economic-development investments by its customers totaled $1.1 billion in 2020. 

As a result of the investments, BNSF projects the creation of more than 1,700 new jobs in local communities.

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BNSF budgets nearly $3 billion for 2021 capex

Rail News Home BNSF Railway 1/21/2021 Rail News: BNSF Railway
image BNSF Railway Co. yesterday announced it will spend $2.99 billion on its capital plan this year, down from $3.08 billion in 2020. Much like last year's plan, this year's capital expenditures will focus on replacing and maintaining the Class I's core network and related assets. "Every year through our capital plan, we work to ensure we are able to continue to operate a safe and efficient rail network, provide our customers with the level of service they have come to expect from BNSF as well as position ourselves for future growth opportunities," said BNSF President and Chief Executive Officer Katie Farmer in a press release. Maintenance projects, which are budgeted at $2.41 billion in 2021, mostly entail replacing and upgrading rail, replacing ballast and ties, and maintaining rolling stock. The plan calls for 11,000 miles of track surfacing or undercutting work, and the replacement of 428 miles of rail and 2.6 million ties. About $400 million will be spent on expansion and efficiency projects. On BNSF's Southern Transcon route between the West Coast and Midwest, the railroad will continue a multiyear effort to add several segments of new double track in eastern Kansas. Once completed, BNSF will have 50 miles of additional main track to support traffic growth, company officials said. In addition, in the Pacific Northwest, BNSF will continue a multiyear bridge project near Sandpoint, Idaho, to increase train capacity. About $180 million of the 2021 capital plan will be spent on freight cars and other equipment acquisitions.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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