Operations & Technology

BNSF Willow Springs Support Track

Services Provided:
  • Civil & Track Design
  • Utility Design and Coordination
  • Construction Management
  • Construction Survey
REMPREX provided design and construction management for support tracks at BNSFs Willow Springs Intermodal Facility. Following a winter of high volume, BNSF was adding surge capacity to its intermodal facilities in Chicagoland. BNSF brought RES in for the support track project to add capacity, given RES’ performance on other projects. Average train length had grown since the construction of the existing support track, and there was the need for a second support track to add surge capacity for trains arriving and departing the facility. RES worked with BNSF to refine the concept, yielding a design that was optimal for BNSF for civil and track design and future operations. Existing conditions were far from ideal, and BNSF requested the project be expedited. Since land acquisitions and Army Corp of Engineers permitting were deemed infeasible due to their timelines, the design was honed to work without either, significantly reducing the project timeline. Minimal retaining walls were used to stay on existing ROW and careful track design kept all new embankment out of wetland areas.
Civil Construction
Rack Construction
To compress the project timeline further, REMPREX separated the tree clearing from the main civil contract to allow it to be completed ahead of finished design. This allowed civil construction to start at spring thaw, saving several months from the project schedule. All earth embankment was sourced in the ROW, requiring a private grade crossing to move the material across the mains. The private grade crossing and the project’s proximity to active tracks required vigilant track-safety standards. The construction schedule allowed BNSF to get track and signals installed prior to peak season. During the track work, REMPREX provided surveying for track layout and worked with BNSF to assemble phasing plans for the track and signal work. The end product delivered two 7,200-foot support tracks on existing ROW without requiring Army Corp Permitting. Construction was completed under normal traffic, and was completed on time providing BNSF with a critical infrastructure asset in time for peak traffic that year.
Hodgkins, IL