NTX Magazine Volume 4 - Page 28

feature story Railroads “ We believe we will continue to see good economic growth in the North Texas region.” – Carl Ice, BNSF to be a transformational change in the railroad industry. BNSF alone burns more than a billion gallons of diesel fuel annually. Results from both static testing and rolling testing of the newly powered locomotives were positive, and the company has now begun mainline testing on the BNSF network. In addition to efficiency, BNSF is also a leader in the development and implementation of positive train control, or “PTC,” a predictive safety technology designed to prevent train-to-train collisions, enforce speed limits, and protect roadway workers and equipment. Legislation passed by Congress in 2008 mandates that PTC be put into service by the end of 2015. Since the enactment of this legislation, railroads have devoted enormous human and financial resources to develop a fully functioning PTC system. As of mid-2014, railroads had spent approximately $4.5 billion of their own funds on PTC development and installation. In 2014, BNSF invested $200 million in PTC technology. “That’s what makes this [North Texas] area so fun and exciting from the logistics side,” said Dr. Pohlen. “We get so focused on being efficient and taking costs out and then as new capabilities come along, we are able to innovate and do something so different and new. You get to see things that a few years ago you would say, ‘You can’t do that,’ -- and now you can.” 26 www.ntc-dfw.org Tomorrow As markets grow and develop, like those in South America and Mexico, BNSF will be well-positioned to help North Texas, and the U.S., take advantage of these growing economic opportunities for business. “It’s great to have BNSF headquartered here,” said Dr. Pohlen. “They are a great addition to our area as far as having thought leaders. To have that kind of community and transportation leadership here – it bleeds over to everything else that is happening in the DFW area.” BNSF takes pride in hiring many of our country’s former military members to staff their own ranks. In 2013, more than 1,200 or 26 percent of all new employees were veterans. BNSF currently employs more than 7,500 veterans – close to 17 percent of the company’s total workforce – finding ways to link high-performing veterans with meaningful and challenging careers at BNSF. “Veterans – with their teamwork and safety-first mentality – continue to acclimate seamlessly into BNSF positions and our culture. It is gratifying to see the ranks of veterans employed by BNSF grow,” said Ice. As the economy comes back on track, BNSF continues to add personnel, technological advancements, and capital improvements to power into coming decades as the nation’s railroad leader. In 2013, Winter/Spring 2015 TOP LEFT: BNSF employee. ABOVE: BNSF President and CEO Carl Ice took the helm in early 2014. rail saw increased demand from a recovering economy. In that year, BNSF took more than 50 percent of the volume growth that the rail industry experienced, handling more than 400,000 of 800,000 units of growth in 2013. Forecasts predict 2014 to net similar volumes, as well. This year, BNSF announced a $5 billion capital expenditure plan, with the largest portion going toward expansion and maintenance of its far-reaching networks. In Texas alone, BNSF is investing $230 million, benefiting the railroad’s customers and ensuring the company’s long-term ability to handle future growth. “We believe we will continue to see good economic growth in the North Texas region,” said Ice. “National forecasts of population and economic growth indicate that this region will keep adding residents and jobs well into the future. And BNSF expects to be a contributor to that growth by adding jobs and helping our customers grow their businesses. As we continue to build infrastructure and make our business stronger and more competitive, we have the effect of making our customers stronger and more competitive – from manufacturing, to agriculture, to energy production and the movement of finished consumer products, BNSF will continue to play an important role in the global supply chain and the North Texas region will continue to be well positioned to serve a growing economy.”