WILLISTON Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway plans to build second mainline tracks between Ray and Epping and also between Ross and Tioga, while New Frontier, LLC, proposes to build a rail yard and transloading facility for the Williston region.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is evaluating permit applications from BNSF Railway for its projects and also a permit application from New Frontier to develop a rail yard facility on a 170-acre parcel east of Williston.
The three projects will result in the discharge of dredged and fill material into U.S. waters and are being evaluated under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. That section regulates the discharge of dredged and fill material into U.S. waters.
BNSF proposes to construct about 12 miles of new mainline between Ray and Epping. Rail-switching equipment will be constructed at both ends of the new track.
The railway also proposes to construct about 18 miles of new mainline between Ross and Tioga.
The projects are within BNSF's existing right of way.
The projects resulting in double tracks are being done, according to the Corps, to more efficiently move the increasing rail traffic along BNSF's mainline track, and provide needed capacity to accommodate passenger train service, along with the shipment of freight and commodities in BNSF's Glasgow Subdivision.
New Frontier's proposed Williston rail yard would be located 2.4 miles east and just under a half mile north of Williston.
According to the Corps, the company said the project is being done to expand rail infrastructure, storage capacity and transloading capacity to meet existing import and export demands in Williston.
New Frontier proposes to build nine rail spurs and associated transloading/laydown yards on the 170-acre site.
The Corps' North Dakota Regulatory Office at 1513 S. 12th St. in Bismarck is taking written comments on the BNSF projects until April 2. Comments are being taken on the rail yard until March 24.