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Rail News Home Federal Legislation & Regulation

9/15/2011



Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

USDOT disburses $19.4 million for eight rail line program projects


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Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced that eight rail projects will receive a total of $19.4 million through the Rail Line Relocation and Improvement (RLR) grant program to replace, relocate and improve track segments. The Federal Railroad Administration, which administers the program, had received 51 applications for grants totaling more than $202 million.

The program helps fund projects designed to improve community livability and promote economic development by addressing rail traffic’s effects on safety, roadway and pedestrian traffic, quality of life and local commerce. Grant recipients are required to cover 10 percent of project costs.

The eight projects receiving the funds and grant amounts are:

• Providence and Worcester Railroad Co.’s Willimantic Branch project, $5.3 million, to upgrade a branch line to increase train speed from 10 mph to 40 mph.

• Quint Street Yard track and signal improvements at the Port of San Francisco, $2.97 million, to upgrade a one-mile spur connecting a Caltrain mainline to a San Francisco rail yard. The mainline is under consideration for use as part of California’s high-speed rail project and the spur’s current condition limits train frequency, weight and length.

• Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department’s Arkansas Railroad/Warren Branch projects, $2.72 million, to rehabilitate and improve 40 miles of track along the Arkansas Midland Railroad’s Warren Branch to eliminate poor track conditions caused by inadequate drainage and heavy freight loads that have contributed to washouts, broken rails, derailments and slow orders.

• Florida Central Railroad’s track upgrades and rehabilitation, $2.2 million, to complete work that will enable the short line to increase train speed from 10 mph to 40 mph. Coupled with additional track and bridge repairs, the work will restore freight service to areas currently not served by rail. In addition the project will benefit future SunRail commuter-rail service and an excursion train between Orlando and Mt. Dora.

• West Wye Connection Track in Springfield, Mo., $1.9 million, to relocate an existing wye track that runs through the center of the city in order to close 23 grade crossings and boost roadway safety.

• Maryland DOT’s Canton Area Rail Improvement Project, $1.74 million, to expand a Canton Railroad Co. yard facility to permit more efficient switching operations and create additional car storage capacity.

• Minnesota DOT’s K-Line Rail Improvement Project, $1.5 million, to improve and extend a municipally owned rail spur that connects to an industrial park in Wadena that was damaged by tornados last year. Extending the track will enable a local shipper to relocate its operations to the industrial park.

• Alaska Railroad Corp.’s Milepost 142 Curve Alignment project, $1.14 million, to reduce the curvature of a mainline adjacent to Eklutna to increase train speeds, reduce noise, and improve operating safety and efficiency.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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