BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) announced the development of a new BNSF Logistics Center as well as improvements to an existing rail yard and mainline infrastructure at a groundbreaking ceremony in Sweetwater. The new Logistics Center is designed to meet the growing supply chain needs of a strong energy corridor across Texas for many energy-related commodities in the Permian Basin and Cline Shale. The facility will also support the strength of Texas agriculture.
"BNSF's $28 million capital investment in the new Sweetwater logistics facility is an investment in the rebirth of the energy industry in West Texas and of a retired, 75-acre BNSF rail yard," said Dave Garin, BNSF group vice president industrial products. "Our objective with Sweetwater is to meet our customers' expectations and offer expanded capacity where growth is occurring for energy and agriculture."
The Sweetwater project will enhance the area's agricultural transportation capacity through a collaboration with Cape & Son, which is expanding operations to accommodate grain unit trains as part of the new development. The project will realign some of the existing track to allow for loading grain unit trains.
"We are very excited about this expansion. The efficiencies of shipping 110-car unit trains of agricultural commodities to and from our Sweetwater facility will provide regional cotton, grain and livestock producers with access to more competitive markets," said Geoff Haney, president of Cape & Son.
The comprehensive Sweetwater expansion will result in 40,000 feet of new tracks, upgrading of the Sweetwater Yard track and improving the branch line that serves Central Texas. The capital improvement is part of a record $4.3 billion network-wide investment for BNSF in 2013.
"The businesses in Sweetwater will gain better access to worldwide markets as BNSF brings new transportation solutions to our growing economy of manufacturing, energy and agricultural," said Ken Becker, executive director of the Sweetwater Enterprise for Economic Development (SEED). "The new facility means that Sweetwater will serve as a transportation hub for the entire region as the new shales of play continue producing new wells with the bright future of an estimated 30 billion barrels of recoverable oil in this part of Texas."
The BNSF Logistics Center at Sweetwater is expected to be ready for business before the end of summer 2014.
BNSF Railway is one of North America's leading freight transportation companies operating on 32,500 route miles of track in 28 states and two Canadian provinces. BNSF is one of the top transporters of consumer goods, grain and agricultural products, low-sulfur coal and industrial goods such as petroleum, chemicals, housing materials, food and beverages. BNSF's shipments help feed, clothe supply and power American homes and businesses every day. BNSF and its employees have developed one of the most technologically advanced and efficient railroads in the industry. They work continuously to improve the value of the safety, service, energy and environmental benefits they provide to their customers and the communities they serve. You can learn more about BNSF at www.BNSF.com.