Burlington Northern Santa Fe Counterpoise

Montgomery County, Texas

With growing concerns of the effects of the electromagnetic fields generated by the overhead electric transmission lines onto the rails of the tracks managed by Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF).  BBI was selected to design and coordinate with CNP and BNSF for the installation of a counterpoise system designed to neutralize the electromagnetic fields for 12 miles of paralleling tracks and a 345 kV transmission line.  This counterpoise system was composed of four 500 MCM buried bare copper cables along BNSF’s right-of-way, two on each side, installed at a strategic distance from the tracks, which would provide optimal efficiency of its purpose.  BBI developed detailed construction drawings for the installation of the cables, which included horizontal directional drilling (HDD), railroad plow and open trench.  BBI acquired all the necessary permits from the County, TxDOT, US Army Corps of Engineers (COE) and BNSF Railroad.