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The Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) will consider providing funds to a regional and short line for rail infrastructure improvement projects at its regular meeting on Thursday.Commission members will decide whether to provide a $250,000 grant to the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway Co. to construct four turnouts.In addition, they will vote on issuing a $1 million loan and $450,000 grant to the Napoleon, Defiance & Western Railway to replace ties and rebuild Defiance Yard.Meanwhile, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio recently approved construction authorization from ORDC directing Norfolk Southern Railway to install mast-mounted flashing lights and roadway gates at the Lippincott Road grade crossing in West Township. The railroad must complete the upgrade — which will be funded by federal dollars — by May 28, 2014.Another Class I plans to upgrade infrastructure in three other states. Union Pacific Railroad has budgeted $30 million to bolster a line between Dolton and Ellis.To be completed by November's end, the project calls for installing 50 miles of rail, replacing 26 switches and renewing 65 crossing surfaces.In addition, UP plans to spend $10 million to upgrade a line at various locations between St. Paul, Minn., and Humbird, Wis.Slated for completion by October's end, the project involves the installation of 42 miles of rail, replacement of seven switches and surface renewals at 47 crossings.
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