FORT WORTH, Texas, March 10, 2016 –BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) today announces a new Site Certification Program aimed at identifying optimal rail-served sites for customer development along BNSF’s network. To launch the new program, BNSF developed a list of candidates and conducted in-depth reviews of 10 economic development criteria to determine if the industrial sites meet BNSF’s stringent readiness standards, which are intended to minimize development risks customers may face.
“BNSF’s Site Certification Program creates significant value for customers who are seeking a rail-served industrial site by accelerating the process required for customer growth and development,” said Colby Tanner, assistant vice president, Economic Development. “BNSF certification means customers will receive an inventory of industrial sites on BNSF’s network that have received a rigorous review to confirm the site is shovel-ready for development.”
As part of the program launch BNSF is pleased to announce that Shafter, Calif., Newton, Kan., Shelby, Mont., and Temple, Texas, achieved the distinction of demonstrating advanced readiness for industrial growth for commercial development projects. The BNSF program allows the certified sites to use the new “BNSF Certified Site” distinction in marketing materials to attract new businesses. BNSF is actively marketing the sites on bnsf.com and will promote the sites to the economic development industry across the country.
A customer who builds a new rail-served facility on a BNSF Certified Site is expected to save between six to nine months of construction time as a result of the site’s advanced level of preparedness for development. To be considered as a certified site, industrial sites agree to submit documentation that allows BNSF to look at tangible evidence of a commitment by the owner and the community to develop a high-quality industrial park or site that is strongly supported by a public-private collaboration and existing investments. BNSF’s certification is expected to generate economic development for the industrial sites and their communities.
Factors known to be critical for a commercial development project include a true picture of property size and boundaries, the confirmed availability of utilities, public services, highway access, proper zoning for industrial usage and transparency of current land ownership. Not only does BNSF complete an analysis of those factors to ensure the sites match the desired economic development readiness level, but BNSF also vets assessments on environmental issues, geotechnical reviews, and endangered species considerations or cultural matters such as land with known archeological value – all to be confident of a good fit with rail expansion. After several months of due diligence, BNSF selected the following industrial sites as the railroad’s first list of BNSF Certified Sites:
- Located 150 miles north of the Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach, Paramount Logistics Park is a 1,625-acre park in Shafter, Calif., associated with Shafter Rail Terminal with 17,500 feet of track and a switching locomotive
- Located north of Wichita, Kansas Logistics Park offers two 42-acre parcels for industrial development in Newton, Kan., and provides rail access to BNSF via the Kansas and Oklahoma Railroad and offers direct access to Interstate 135 and State Highway 50
- Located 30 miles south of the Canadian border and 80 miles east of Glacier National Park, the Port of Northern Montana Multimodal Hub Center in Shelby, Mont., offers a 93-acre site with direct access to BNSF and offers access to Interstate Highway 15 and U.S. Highway 2
- Located 124 miles south of Fort Worth, the Rail Park at Central Pointe is a 306-acre industrial site in Temple, Texas, and has approximately 10 miles of track switched by the Temple & Central Texas Railway, which connects directly to BNSF and offers direct access to Interstate 35
As BNSF expands the program, it will add more industrial sites to the inventory of certified sites. To be considered as a BNSF Certified Site or for more information on establishing a new or expanded rail-served facility, visit www.bnsf.com/ed.
BNSF Railway is one of North America’s leading freight transportation companies. BNSF operates approximately 32,500 route miles of track in 28 states and also operates in three Canadian provinces. BNSF is one of the top transporters of consumer goods, grain and agricultural products, low-sulfur coal, and industrial goods such as petroleum, chemicals, housing materials, food and beverages. BNSF’s shipments help feed, clothe, supply, and power American homes and businesses every day. BNSF and its employees have developed one of the most technologically advanced, and efficient railroads in the industry. We work continuously to improve the value of the safety, service, energy, and environmental benefits we provide to our customers and the communities we serve. You can learn more about BNSF at www.BNSF.com .