Capital expenditures in 2019 will largely remain flat from the previous year for five of seven U.S. Class I railroads, according to financial reports released by the carriers.
BNSF spent $3.4 billion in 2018 and is one of two carriers that plan to increase capital expenditure spending. The railroad announced a $3.57 billion spending plan for 2019 on Feb. 13, an increase of 5 percent over the year prior.
Canadian National will invest approximately $2.94 billion (U.S.) in its capital spending program with $1.2 billion targeted toward track and railway infrastructure maintenance — an amount similar to what was spent last year. The remainder will largely be used to acquire new locomotives, the carrier said.
Canadian Pacific Railway’s spending will stay at $1.2 billion (U.S.), according to the carrier’s fourth-quarter and full-year earnings statements.
CSX’s capital spending budget will come in somewhere between $1.6 and $1.7 billion, the company said, also at about the same level as the year prior.
Kansas City Southern announced a planned increase of spending from $530 million in 2018 to between $640 million and $660 million. The increase is mostly because of the planned $140 million acquisition of new locomotives, KCS officials said. The carrier said spending on maintenance of way and other engineering projects will be at the same level as the previous year.
Norfolk Southern company officials said at a February investors conference that 2019 capital expenditure levels for 2019 would be between 16 and 18 percent of revenue in the range of $1.8 and $1.9 billion, a level consistent with the $1.8 billion the carrier allocated for capital expenditures in 2018.
Union Pacific committed to $3.2 billion in capital spending for 2019, the same amount it says it invested in 2018, according to its fourth quarter earnings filing.
Genesee and Wyoming, a large operator of American short-line railroads, expects to increase its capital expenditures by about $10 million in 2019, it announced in early February. In 2018, G&W spent $205.7 million; G&W expects to spend $215 million this year.