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Thread: BNSF buys Montana Rail Link

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Calgary, Alberta,Canada
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    103

    Default BNSF buys Montana Rail Link


  2. #2
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    Apr 2015
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    Vermont
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    At least most of us, have the MRL Mullan Pass to enjoy.
    https://i.imgur.com/LPZNEX4.png

  3. #3
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    Mar 2017
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    North of Adelaide South Australia
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    Huge fan of this railroad and going to miss MRL being a seperate owned company but at the same time interested to see how BNSF will implement their buisness policy and changes to how various trains will run over the system since various aspects of interchange and bridge traffic wil be probaly be no longer required.

    Big blue locomotives and beautiful mountain scenery - Thank You Montana Rail Link you were modern railroading at it's best.

    Chasing MRL’s Tribute Units east on the MISLAU - 2021

    Last edited by WesternDivision; 01-11-2022 at 03:08 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Poteau, OK, USA.
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    Well darn. Sad to read about this.

    I got to see MRL once in person. Thought it was a fascinating operation. Very nice modern paint schemes.

    Didn't BN spin this off? If yes, then BNSF has come full circle.
    Andre Ming
    V Scale Creations.com R.I.P

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Illinois
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coonskin View Post
    Well darn. Sad to read about this.

    I got to see MRL once in person. Thought it was a fascinating operation. Very nice modern paint schemes.

    Didn't BN spin this off? If yes, then BNSF has come full circle.
    Yes BN spun it off as a 60 year lease through 2047, They just decided to buy it out early

    https://railfan.com/bnsf-railway-to-...ana-rail-link/

  6. #6
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    Nov 2007
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    SW MO
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    They'll probably abandon it and rip up the rail to increase shareholder value.
    Fiduciaries gonna fiduc.

    Randy

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Post Falls, ID
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdayt View Post
    They'll probably abandon it and rip up the rail to increase shareholder value.
    Fiduciaries gonna fiduc.

    Randy
    Sorry, but no. BNSF is not publicly traded, it is wholly owned by Warren Buffet / Berkshire Hathaway. Therefore they have no immediate shareholders to appease. They are one of the few (or maybe the ONLY) Class I's railroads that is primarily interested in long-term growth rather than short-term profits. Anyone with a geographical understanding of the region realizes that BNSF is in absolutely no position (nor desire) to abandon the southern route across Montana. Having the southern route has saved their butt over and over and over again when the Hi Line has issues due to avalanches, winter storms, derailments, and overwhelmed capacity. Even if that wasn't the case, the vast majority of the traffic over MRL is not easily re-routable over the Hi-Line without having to go up the Laurel-Great Falls-Shelby line, which is EXTREMELY capacity-limited - hundreds of miles of dark territory, long distances between sidings, many sidings not long enough for the typical modern train lengths. It would take many ten's (even hundreds) of million of dollars to upgrade a route like that - and then the entire Shelby to Sandpoint segment of the Hi Line would need massive capacity expenditures as well.

    Likewise, BNSF has surely been counting their lucky stars in the past few weeks that they have multiple routes across Washington state rather than just one. Redundant/backup mainlines seem like a silly idea to investors (in the other Class I's) until the moment that one rail line is shut down, with no available alternate route.
    Last edited by PerryPlatypus; 01-11-2022 at 01:29 PM.
    ~Sean Kelly~
    MRL Mullan Pass for Open Rails: https://www.trainsimulations.net/mullanpass
    SP Shasta Route for Open Rails: In Development / Tracks 100%, Scenery 75%

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
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    Warren Buffet is a smart businessman, unlike the rest that own CSXT, NS, UP, CP, etc. However, the STB appears will have the final say, whether or not BNSF can terminate the lease to MRL so soon. Personally, I don't see why not, however, with the recent EO that the President had put out, it will be a tough call, considering its a parallel line to what BNSF already has. Which, the EO was against to help continue healthy competition. We shall see.

    It's a shame, as I was trying/hoping to get out to Montana and eventually work for the MRL.
    https://i.imgur.com/LPZNEX4.png

  9. #9

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    I don't think STB has much of a say since BNSF already owns most the line, especially if the lawyers all did their job and protected both parties right to amicably end the lease prior to expiration.

    STB will likely rubber stamp the branch line acquisitions. Keeping them open and viable is their job.

    Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2021
    Location
    Centreville, Mississippi
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    13

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    I never thought that bnsf buys out montana rail link!
    To bad I never got see thoses big blue giant's in person

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