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Vermont is slated to receive a $10 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) VII grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to improve rail service along the state's western corridor.In particular, the money will go toward restoring passenger service between Rutland and Burlington.In a joint statement, U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), U.S. Rep. Peter Welch (D.-Vt.) and Gov. Peter Shumlin said that the award would be mutually beneficial for freight and passenger rail."There is an overwhelming need here and across the country to improve our infrastructure for the 21st Century," they said. "We are glad that this grant will make those upgrades to the rail line along the western corridor to drive our economy forward."The grant will be matched by state funds for the Western Vermont Freight-Passenger Rail Project, which is aimed at improving service on the state-owned rail line between Rutland and Burlington.That project calls for replacing track with new rail, ballast and ties; rehabilitating the Rutland Wye; and adding new gates for public crossings, a new passing siding and a crossover. Additionally, the project will include the installation of new passenger platforms. The USDOT began announcing its latest round of TIGER grant awards earlier this week.
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