SOURCE: BNSF Railway Company

October 31, 2007 14:15 ET

Kansas Short-Line Railroad Receives BNSF Achievement Award

FORT WORTH, TX--(Marketwire - October 31, 2007) - Wichita, Kansas-based Kansas and Oklahoma Railroad (K&O) has received its second Short-Line Achievement Award from BNSF Railway Company. The award was presented to Neal Jacobs, K&O's general manager, by Pete Rickershauser, BNSF's vice president, Network Development, at BNSF's twelfth annual Short-Line Conference October 15 at Fort Worth. K&O is the first short line ever to have received the award twice.

"K&O is a great example of a short line taking advantage of the Shortline Tax Credit to rehabilitate a key segment of their railroad from Wichita to Hutchinson, nearly 45 miles," said Rickershauser. "K&O has been very adaptive to changes in wheat transportation and has created shuttle service between country elevators and large grain terminals in Wichita and Hutchinson. Likewise, they have worked with customers to locate an ethanol facility and to provide access to markets across the U.S."

"We think of BNSF as an extension of our own railroad," said Pat Cedeno, chief operating officer, Central Region, Watco Companies, owner of K&O. "When we bring ideas to the table they listen, and we've been able to make a lot of things happen. You don't see the increase in business like we've seen if you don't have a partner like that, and that's why our relationship with BNSF is so strong."

K&O began operations in July 2001. With 840 miles of track reaching out in three directions from Wichita to the Colorado border, the K&O carries more than 55,000 carloads annually. One of the largest single short lines in the industry, the K&O carries diverse agricultural commodities such as grain and grain products, and industrial products such as chemicals and paper.

Short-Line Achievement Awards also were presented to Otter Tail Valley Railroad of Fergus Falls, Minn., and Portland & Western Railroad of Salem, Ore.

"These outstanding short lines typify the kind of relationship that exists between BNSF and our short lines and that works to the ultimate benefit of all our customers," said Rickershauser. "These awards recognize especially the resourcefulness and achievements of three short lines that have gone beyond our expectations through innovation, determination and hard work to build new business for our railroads and new service products for our shared customers."

BNSF connects with nearly 200 short lines, regional carriers and switch carriers. They operate almost 19,000 miles of track. Through August of this year, BNSF shipments that originated or terminated on short lines accounted for about 18.5 percent of BNSF revenues. Of BNSF revenues attributed to shipments originating or terminating on short lines, 56 percent were Industrial Products commodities while 27 percent were Agricultural and related products.

"Short lines provide intense customer focus, resourcefulness, operational flexibility, and a local presence in their communities," said Rickershauser. "We see their role expanding in the future as they bring new customers and new products to the rail network, do more gathering and distribution, and assemble blocks of cars for integration with BNSF's network of main-line trains."

A subsidiary of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation (NYSE: BNI), BNSF Railway operates one of the largest railroad networks in North America, with about 32,000 route miles in 28 states and two Canadian provinces. The railway is among the world's top transporters of intermodal traffic, moves more grain than any other American railroad, transports the components of many of the products we depend on daily, and hauls enough low-sulfur coal to generate about ten percent of the electricity produced in the United States. BNSF Railway is an industry leader in Web-enabling a variety of customer transactions at

Contact Information

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    Patrick Hiatte
    (817) 867-6418