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BNSF locomotives. Photo courtesy of BNSF

Scott Nishimura
snishimura@bizpress.net

BNSF plans to hire more than 5,000 people this year across its network, including about 2,000 for expansion, the company said Tuesday.

“We see growth,” Carl Ice, the CEO, said in an interview on CNBC.

BNSF handled half of the railroad’s unit growth in 2013. In the fourth quarter, the company saw “surges in our commodity traffic, grain, energy, coal,” he said.

“That did strain our resources,” he said.

As for the winter, he said, “it’s been a very harsh winter. That had a detrimental impact to our customers, but we see broad-based growth. We’ve had several good weeks this year, despite the weather. We see positive momentum now.”

Steven Forsberg, a spokesman for the Fort Worth company said most of the new hires will replace retiring workers.

But 2,000 “will be for expansion to handle traffic growth on our network” he said.

BNSF employs about 3,500 in Fort Worth. Forsberg said he could not provide a projected employment breakdown for Fort Worth or other cities or states in the company’s network.

BNSF in February announced a projected record capital commitment plan of $5 billion for 2014, $1 billion over the capital it spent in 2013.

The capital plan includes $2.3 billion on BNSF’s core network and related assets. BNSF also plans to spend about $1.6 billion on locomotives, freight car, and other equipment.


 

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