Engineering puts plan in motion

Investment is enhancing efficiency at the hump.

Investment is enhancing efficiency at the hump.

A plan formulated throughout 2015 and approved by the board of directors is currently being enacted.

The railroad will make use of more than $13 million in capital expenditures this year to enhance its infrastructure. Manager of Engineering Dave Cargill said his team shouldn’t take all the credit for the work. Transportation and Mechanical helping to clear tracks and keep equipment running, respectively, are the tip of the iceberg.

“Our work requires a great deal of cooperation from every other department,” he said. “It takes the whole BRC team to make it happen.”

One of the more interesting capital projects, according to Cargill, is the continuation of an ongoing effort to relax the grade of classification bowl tracks to suit cars with roller bearings. Grades were initially made steeper because they were constructed during a period when cars using friction bearings were the industry standard. The project started in 2009 and has enhanced efficiency and increased capacity.

“We’re getting to see the fruits of our labor,” he said.

Each track requires a three-stage process to have its grade reduced. The current phase will conclude early this summer and future phases will be complete within three years bringing it to an end.

Engineering also is staying safe. Their last reportable injury was Oct. 19, 2015. Cargill said the safety of his teammates is what he values most, and he believes employees have created a culture corresponding to that.

“Our people are our most important resource,” he said.