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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals
New Jersey provides grant for Salem County rail rehab; Grafton and Upton starts second part of track upgrade

New Jersey officials recently announced the state will provide a $1.35 million grant to a Salem County-owned short line to rehabilitate track.

The 18-mile railroad is operated by Salem County Transit between a yard in Swedesboro, N.J., and the Port of Salem. The short line delivers raw materials to several businesses in Salem County and moves finished products to the port.

The rail line is more than 100 years old and in such disrepair trains can only travel 5 mph on it, state officials said. To begin in March 2013, the project calls for removing 1.9 miles of rail and ties, leveling old rail bed, replacing ballast, and installing higher-grade rail and wood ties.

Meanwhile, the Grafton and Upton Railroad recently held a ceremony in Milford, Mass., to mark the start of reconstruction work on the Milford and Hopedale portion of a line upgrade.

Grafton and Upton operates 7.5 miles of track between North Grafton and Upton. After trackwork and upgrades to nine grade crossings are completed by year's end, the short line will operate a total of 16.5 miles of track, including the segment to Hopedale and Milford. The railroad previously completed reconstruction work on a track segment between Grafton and West Upton.

The rail restoration project is funded by a $1 million grant awarded late last year by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation's Rail and Transit Division.

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