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1/25/2013


Rail News: Maintenance Of Way
CSX opens double-stack route in New England; Union Pacific upgrades Oregon line



CSX Transportation, working in conjunction with the commonwealth of Massachusetts, has opened New England's first double-stack-cleared intermodal route on its line between the New York state line and a newly expanded intermodal terminal in Worcester, CSX Corp. officials announced yesterday.

The double-stack intermodal route benefits businesses and consumers in central New England by reducing transit times on key lanes by as much as 24 hours, they said.

Prior to opening the route, CSXT increased vertical clearances at 31 locations on the line to 21 feet. Previously, double-stack trains coming to New England from the Midwest or from western origins had to stop in Syracuse, N.Y., to be converted to single-stack configurations, and the reverse occurred on westbound routes from New England, adding time, cost and complexity to freight flows, CSX officials said.

The project was part of an agreement with the commonwealth that enabled Massachusetts to acquire CSXT's lines in the Boston area to increase commuter-rail service. In conjunction with that project, the Worcester intermodal terminal was expanded.

"This is an excellent example of how the public and private sector can work together on projects that benefit the public, strengthen the economy and enable highway-to-rail freight conversion to reduce strain on public infrastructure and serve supply chains seamlessly," said Clarence Gooden, CSX's executive vice president and chief commercial officer.

Meanwhile, Union Pacific Railroad yesterday announced it's spending about $13.2 million to improve a line between Troutdale and The Dalles, Ore.

The project, which began Jan. 7 and is slated for completion in April, calls for replacing 91,000 ties and five switches, installing more than 30,000 tons of ballast and renewing surfaces at 32 grade crossings.

This year, UP has budgeted $3.6 billion for capital expenditures, including $1.6 billion for infrastructure replacement projects, $670 million for capacity/commercial facility projects, $610 million for locomotive and equipment acquisitions, and $450 million for positive train control work. In 2012, the Class I spent about $3.7 billion on its rail network.

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