ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — BNSF Railway's capital expenditure plan for 2018 includes building a third set of tracks on 10 miles (16 kilometers) of its southern main line in New Mexico.

BNSF spokesman Joe Sloan says the track expansion project between Belen and Dalies south of Albuquerque will increase the speed of rail traffic by allowing regular operations to continue during maintenance work on one set of tracks and by allowing a priority train to move without delaying a lower priority train.

BNSF's southern main line connects Southern California with Chicago.

BNSF says the expansion project announced Thursday is part of the railroad's $80 million of planned capital expenditure spending in New Mexico in 2018, with about half of the money going for maintenance projects such as replacing rails, ties and ballast.