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9/11/2008



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Hoosier Southern lands federal grant for infrastructure upgrades; Pacific Harbor Line marks first-ever eco-friendly locomotive fleet


The Perry County Port Authority's Hoosier Southern Railroad (HOS) recently received a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce-Economic Development Administration (EDA) for rail and bridge improvements in Indiana’s Perry and Spencer counties.

Obtained in conjunction with the Indiana 15 Regional Planning Commission, the grant will help the 22-mile short line fund a $5 million infrastructure upgrade project to accommodate 286,000-pound axle loads. The project calls for building three bridges and rehabilitating rail.

"Addressing the aging infrastructure of our railroad is critical to our continued viability," said HOS Vice President and Chief Executive Officer Dick Neumann in a prepared statement. "This money will modernize the Perry County railroad in order to carry heavier manufacturing loads and expand railway business."

In 1991, the Perry County Board of Commissioners created HOS after acquiring a 19.8-mile Santa Claus-to-Cannelton, Ind., line from Norfolk Southern Corp. In 1996, the port authority — which is governed by the board — acquired an additional 2.4-mile line from NS. HOS interchanges with NS in Lincoln City, Ind.

Meanwhile, Pacific Harbor Line Inc. (PHL) recently became the nation's first railroad to incorporate low-emission locomotives into its entire fleet, the short line said. All of PHL's 22 locomotives now meet or exceed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Tier 2 emission standards.

The locomotives reduce particulate and nitrogen oxide emissions by at least 70 and 46 percent, and cut fuel usage compared with conventional switchers, said PHL President Andrew Fox in a prepared statement. Owned by Anacostia & Pacific Co., PHL operated the last of its older locomotives in May.

The short line spent $30 million to replace its fleet with low-emission locomotives, beginning in May 2007. Costs were shared by PHL, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and California's Carl Moyer Program.

National Railway Equipment Co. built four four-axle, generator-set (GenSet) switchers and two six-axle, 2,100-horsepower GenSets; and MotivePower Inc. built 14 six-axle and two four-axle locomotives for PHL.


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