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BNSF planning to add 5,000 workers in 2014 as railroad expands

Fort Worth-based BNSF Railway plans to hire 5,000 workers this year as part of a $5 billion investment in the railroad, Carl Ice, the company's new president and CEO, said this morning during an interview on CNBC.

Ice, who recently took over the CEO post from Matt Rose, said the new jobs will be spread across the railroad's many functions but that the biggest number will be in train crews to serve its growing business. The company is also adding 500 locomotives and recently announced plans to purchase 5,000 next-generation tank cars to haul crude oil from fields such as the Bakken Shale.

Ice said the U.S. economy is showing broad-based growth and that BNSF wouldn't argue with economists who estimate that GDP is growing at a rate of 2.5% a year or more. He said there was a surge in commodity shipments in the fourth quarter, such as grain, oil and coal, but that severe winter weather slowed down momentum in the early part of 2014.

Rose is now executive chairman of BNSF, which is owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway. The company has more than 41,000 employees.

-- Steve Kaskovich




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