The MidCon Corridor is positioned to serve the energy independence needs of the United States. From transporting low-sulful coal that powers American homes and businesses, to handling the drilling sand and pipe for oil and gas shales from North Dakota to South Texas, to moving crude oil to pipeline heads in Oklahoma and Arkansas, to refined petroleum products from the Gulf Coast to markets throughout the United States, to ethanol from production facilities in the Midwest to blending locations across the country, and to wind energy components from ports and manufacturers to wind generating areas, the MidCon Corridor is an essential part of the energy industry necessary to reduce America’s reliance on foreign oil.
This Corridor is also critical to America’s position in international trade, serving as a conduit to bring American agricultural and industrial products to Gulf ports for export, and for imports moving to consumers. This role supporting import traffic will become even more dynamic when the Panama Canal expansion is completed in 2014.
BNSF has invested substantial sums in the MidCon Corridor to meet freight demands; however, the Corridor still needs expansion and improvement. Investments on this Corridor create a faster and more efficient freight railway system to foster economic growth. These efficiency improvements mean fewer trucks on the road, lower emissions and a healthier, safer environment.
- Increased Capacity – BNSF has invested more than $220 million in
the MidCon infrastructure in the last 10 years, including:
- Double Tracking – BNSF has spent more than $60 million in the last 10 years to double track portions of the MidCon. This makes for more efficient freight and passenger rail movement, rather than the stop-and-go required by trains on a single-track increasing the capacity of the corridor and reducing transit time.
- Siding Extensions and Rail infrastructure – BNSF has spent more than $20 million to extend sidings and install rail infrastructure such as connecting tracks and crossovers. Since the MidCon is primarily single track, sidings are used for trains to meet and pass when operating on a single mainline track. Siding extensions increase the length of the siding to allow for longer trains hauling more goods to use the siding while an oncoming train passes. Installing connection tracks and crossovers improves rail operations efficiency which, in turn, improves capacity.
- Rail Yard Improvements – BNSF has spent more than $95 million in the last 10 years to expand capacity of rail yards on the MidCon. Improvements include more track footage and switches for staging and assembling trains. Rail yard improvements increase the capacity and efficiency of the corridor.
- Maintenance – More than $1.4 billion was spent on the MidCon in the last 10 years to maintain its infrastructure to ensure the safe movement of goods. That is approximately $436,000 to maintain every mile.