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BNSF announces two new 'certified' development sites

Rail News Home BNSF Railway 7/1/2021 Rail News: BNSF Railway
image BNSF Railway Co. has given two new locations in Montana and Texas its Certified Sites designation. The Class I now has four certified sites in Montana and three in Texas. To earn the designation, sites must undergo a thorough analysis that includes an evaluation of environmental and geotechnical standards, available utilities, site availability, and existing and projected infrastructure, BNSF officials said in a news release. The goal of the Certified Sites program is to provide an inventory of rail-served sites that are available for immediate development, they said. So far, BNSF offers 29 of the sites, all of which provide direct rail service. The two newly-designated Certified Sites, which feature acreage ready for industrial development, are: • Somerville Industrial in Somerville, Texas, which offers 103 acres without zoning requirements or restrictions and is located east of State Highway 36, about 20 miles outside of Bryan-College Station; and • Fort Peck Tribal Industrial Park in Poplar, Montana, which is zoned for heavy industrial. The site encompasses 45 acres located north of U.S. Highway 2 on the Fort Peck Reservation outside city limits. Certified Sites are a part of the Class I's Premier Parks, Sites and Transload program, which addresses increasing demand for customer site locations by developing various types of facilities across the railroad's network, BNSF officials said.       
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BNSF releases 2020 annual report

Rail News Home BNSF Railway 6/25/2021 Rail News: BNSF Railway
image BNSF Railway Co. has released its annual report for 2020, including comments by President and Chief Executive Officer Katie Farmer, that highlighted a challenging year. "From the pandemic's start, we focused on protecting the health of our employees as well as keeping our trains moving. I'm humbled by the unwavering commitment of our team to deliver critical supplies as we kept freight flowing and distribution centers stocked," she said in the report While the first part of 2021 included the loss of three BNSF employees in work-related incidents, Farmer said BNSF made progress on safety issues as the year continued.  "Our mechanical team achieved their best-ever frequency performance in 2020 and engineering came close to matching theirs. As we continue to navigate the challenges brought on by the pandemic, we must remain focused on the well-being and safety of our employees, and I am confident that working together we can achieve our safety vision," she wrote. The report also includes BNSF's activities in the areas of diversity and inclusion; sustainability; and service. Read the report here. 
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BNSF to serve new canola processing facility in Saskatchewan

Rail News Home BNSF Railway 5/25/2021 Rail News: BNSF Railway
image Ceres Global Ag Corp. today announced plans today to build a $350 million integrated canola processing facility in Northgate, Saskatchewan, to help meet the current and growing global demand for canola products. Expected to open in summer 2024, the facility will have the capacity to process 1.1 million metric tons of canola and refine more than 500 thousand metric tons of canola oil annually, Ceres officials said in a press release. BNSF Railway Co. will serve the facility. "Demand for renewable diesel feedstocks is rapidly growing. The BNSF network is ideally suited to supply the production, processing and distribution of these feedstocks," said Jim Titsworth, BNSF's director of agricultural development. Ceres has been analyzing canola crush at Northgate for several years, as its location at the Canada-U.S. border is ideally located to originate canola seed from farmers, said Ceres President and Chief Executive Officer Robert Day. "With a direct connection to BNSF, the facility will provide the most efficient access to the U.S. market and ports," Day said. "Our Northgate facility includes a 2.7 million-bushel shuttle loading grain elevator and two 120-car loop tracks, providing 'construction-ready' infrastructure and shortening the timeline to complete this project."
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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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