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BNSF to activate trackage rights over Union Pacific in Missouri to reach power plant

By | October 15, 2021

Rights date to agreement from UP-SP merger

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Full and empty coal trains stopped on adjacent tracks
Full and empty coal trains stopped on adjacent tracks
BNSF Railway coal trains are staged at Alliance, Neb., in September 2020. (Bill Stephens)

WASHINGTON – BNSF Railway will gain trackage rights over a short stretch of Union Pacific’s Jefferson City Subdivision in Missouri to begin serving a power plant 45 miles west of St. Louis.

The 11.5 miles of trackage rights will allow BNSF to deliver coal trains from the Powder River Basin to Ameren’s power plant in Labadie, Mo. UP currently serves the Ameren Labadie Energy Center, a 2,372 megawatt plant that is the state’s largest generating facility.

In a regulatory filing, BNSF said the trackage rights agreement would become effective in November. BNSF’s Cuba Subdivision connects with UP’s Jefferson City Sub near Pacific, Mo.

BNSF’s ability to gain trackage rights to serve the plant go back to the 1995 agreement reached with UP as part of the UP-Southern Pacific merger.

15 thoughts on “BNSF to activate trackage rights over Union Pacific in Missouri to reach power plant

  1. How does this work financially? Does BNSF pay UP a ton-mile fee? Does UP have to maintain the track to some standards? Does UP have other customers on this line?

  2. There is no mistake by anybody at UP. Both UP and SP had access to this plant, so in the UP/SP merger it became a 2:1 point that had to be remedied with trackage rights, which have just not been used up until this point. I suspect BNSF has bid on the traffic in the past, but just never won the contract.

    1. Amtrak does use this particular Union Pacific line, it is part of the Jefferson City Sub. BNSF will have to switch over from their line (Cuba sub) to the Union Pacific line (Jeff City sub) in Pacific MO. BNSF will then have to switch from UP line track 2 to track 1 just west of the last Pacific crossing to be able to gain access to the power plant.

  3. I’ve never seen a “megawant” before. Is that like a want that skips ‘need’ and goes straight to ‘must-have’ priority?

    1. “Megawant: a multi-trillion dollar ‘human-infrastructure’ porkulus bill proposed by federal policiticians.”

  4. I’ve never seen a “megawant” before. Is that like a want that skips ‘need’ and goes straight to ‘must-have’ priority?
    Come to think of it, I’ve never seen a megawatt either.

    1. This is not the first time, UP giving up business.
      Some time back UP had coal trains supply a coal fired generator plant at New Madrid, MO. BNSF…. BUILT a spur from their Mississippi River Line and now service the coal plant.
      I do not know any details.
      However to show how far back UP/SSW? had the contract is evident by an I-55 auto overpass for the older spur. Whereas BNSF on their new spur sends the trains over the autos.
      Now how old is I-55? I would think pretty old and showing that UP had the business for a long time. NO MORE

  5. There is another line that serves Labadie from the east. It’s the former MoPac, now Central Midland, a Progressive Rail entity.

    Unfortunately Ameren probably didn’t consider them with their weed choked, 96 lb rail line. I can’t imagine coal drags crossing through Chesterfield, MO at 10 mph. The town would be up in arms.

    1. That would be interesting to see them on the Central Midland line but yeah, they would have to make major upgrades to the tracks. I’m looking forward to seeing the trains cross subs in Pacific. I think it’s been about 5 years since a train has used that subdivision crossing.

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