January 06, 2005 13:10 ET

OmniTRAX Assumes Operations of BNSF Branch Line; Commences Operations of Kettle Falls International Railway



JANUARY 6, 2005 - 13:10 ET

OmniTRAX Assumes Operations of BNSF Branch Line;
Commences Operations of Kettle Falls International

DENVER and SEATTLE--(CCNMatthews - Jan 6, 2005) -

-- Kettle Falls International Railway LLC Operates 160 Miles of Track;
From Chewelah, Washington, to Columbia Gardens, British Columbia, Grand
Forks, British Columbia, and San Poil, Washington

-- Will Operate Across the U.S.-Canada Border at Three Separate Ports
of Entry

The Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company (BNSF) and OmniTRAX
have jointly announced a transition related to a railway's ownership and

OmniTRAX, an affiliate of The Broe Companies and the largest private
railway operation in North America, has assumed operation of a 160-mile
cluster of branch lines of the BNSF running from Chewelah, Washington,
and across the U.S.-Canada border to Columbia Gardens, British Columbia
(BC), with a second line operating across the U.S.-Canada border at
Laurier, Washington, serving Grand Forks, British Columbia, and
returning to the U.S. at Danville, Washington, to its end point in San
Poil, Washington.

OmniTRAX has created a new subsidiary to operate this former BNSF branch
line network -- the Kettle Falls International Railway LLC (KFR). KFR
will operate 76.5 miles of purchased track from Kettle Falls to San
Poil, Washington.

It has leased another 83 miles from Chewelah, Washington, to Columbia
Gardens, BC. These lines operate across the U.S.-Canada border at three
separate ports of entry: Boundary, Laurier and Danville.

Among the key customers served by KFR are Teck Cominco, Pope and Talbot,
Boise Cascade, Vaagen Bros., Stimson Timber, and Canpar. According to
OmniTRAX, the company will employ an aggressive industrial expansion
strategy to help present rail customers grow, while attracting new
industries to the area.

"The Kettle Falls International Railway is an ideal match with our
strategic expansion and service plans," states Bob Parker, OmniTRAX
Chief Operating Officer. "KFR is a part of our plans for expansion of
our regional railway holdings and diversification of our customer base."
Mr. Parker also comments that taking on KFR expands the OmniTRAX
partnership with BNSF. "We are very fortunate to be able to work as a
team with a professional organization the caliber of BNSF." Mr. Parker
explains KFR represents OmniTRAX's 14th railway operation in North

Pete Rickerhauser, Vice President of Network Development at BNSF,
comments, "This service partnership is a significant part of BNSF's
effort to provide the most effective services for its customers, while
ensuring the most efficient use of its network assets."

In the context of partnership, Mr. Parker notes that OmniTRAX plans a
number of improvements and expansions of KFR. This includes KFR
constructing a new interchange track to expedite interchange between
BNSF and KFR at Chewelah. Plans also include construction of a
locomotive maintenance facility in Kettle Falls.

About OmniTRAX: An affiliate of The Broe Companies (,
OmniTRAX is the largest privately held rail services company in North
America. With its headquarters in Denver, Colorado, OmniTRAX owns and
operates many railroads across the U.S. and in three Canadian Provinces.
OmniTRAX also owns and operates the Port of Churchill, Manitoba.
Additionally, OmniTRAX provides intermodal terminal services to Class I
railways through its Quality Terminal Services subsidiary. It also
delivers customized private switching services for major industrial
complexes through its OmniTRAX Switching Services subsidiary, and
provides locomotive maintenance services to Class I railways through its
OmniTRAX Locomotive Services subsidiary.

Learn more about OmniTRAX at

About BNSF: BNSF operates one of the largest railroad networks in North
America, with about 32,500 route miles covering 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-sulphur coal to generate about ten percent of the
electricity produced in the United States. BNSF is an industry leader in
Web-enabling a variety of customer transactions at



Contact Information

    OmniTRAX, Denver
    Michael Burke, 303-398-0423
    Sr. VP Corporate Marketing
    BNSF Railway, Fort Worth
    Gus Melonas, 206-625-6220
    Regional Director Community/Media Relations