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Norfolk Southern Corp. yesterday announced it completed a $22.6 million track maintenance blitz earlier this month along its major coal line through Pennsylvania's Monongahela Valley.Last year, nearly 36.4 million tons of coal were moved over the line, which runs 85 miles from Pittsburgh to five coal mines in Washington, Greene, Marion and Monongalia counties.The annual blitz, which kicked into high gear June 29 with a full line shutdown, involved about 400 workers from across the railroad's 22-state system, NS officials said in a press release. The project required 60 work trains and the preparation of 300 meals per day.During the blitz, crews installed 26,904 ties and 75,000 tons of ballast; laid 13 miles of new rail; resurfaced 110 miles of rail; added 961 new bridge ties; replaced 22 culverts and cleaned another 110; and upgraded 40 grade crossings.Workers also replaced a retaining wall and a 140-foot timber bridge with a ballast deck over the Pigeon Creek in Monongahela and installed new signals in West Brownsville as the first step in expanding a rail yard to accommodate 130-car coal trains.
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