BNSF Railway is replacing about 35,000 aging wooden railroad ties on its mainline tracks in the central San Joaquin Valley as part of a $141 million investment in capital improvements in California.
The ties are being replaced on a stretch of about 67 miles from BNSF’s Sharon milepost, just south of the Madera-Merced county line, and the Kings Park milepost south of Hanford in Kings County. “Tie replacement is done as general maintenance to ensure a safe operation,” said Lena Kent, a BNSF spokeswoman.
The tie replacement program is a relatively minor project compared to major elements of BNSF’s nationwide $6 billion in planned improvements of its tracks, bridges, signals, terminals and rolling stock, as well as expansion of its rail network. In California, the railroad is extending siding and putting in double tracks on a stretch of its Mojave subdivision between Mojave and Bakersfield, as well as replacing about 118,000 ties, replacing about 54 miles of rails, and improving 880 miles of tracks statewide.