May 12 - BNSF Railway Corporation has started its USD1 billion investment plan to improve and extend rail capacity in US states along the Northern Corridor, which spans between the Pacific Northwest and Chicago.

Some of the projects to extend capacity and improve traffic flow for freight and passenger trains on the route are already underway.

"Following our record capital investment in 2013 of USD4 billion, we are making the most significant capital investment in our history of approximately USD5 billion this year," said Carl Ice, president and chief executive officer of BNSF Railway. ""Our capital investments along the Northern Corridor are critical to expanding our capacity to support the region's rapidly growing economy", he added.

Highlights of the investment package include USD400 million of spending in North Dakota to expand rail capacity, replace and maintain the network infrastructure, and continue the implementation of Positive Train Control technology. Washington will receive USD235 million; BNSF will allocate USD160 million to Montana, while Illinois and Minnesota will receive UD150 million and USD120 million respectively.