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Rail News: Intermodal

New England Central to modify Vermont tunnel for double-stack traffic

Early next year, New England Central Railroad Inc. will begin moving double-stack intermodal trains through a 280-foot Bellow Falls, Vt., tunnel.

Built in 1851, the tunnel wasn’t designed to accommodate double-stack cars or auto racks. The 370-mile RailAmerica Inc. subsidiary short line is spending $2.5 million — provided by the Vermont Agency of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration — to lower the tunnel’s invert about two feet.

Designed by Parsons Brinckerhoff and performed by ECI Rail Constructors Inc., the work includes strengthening and underpinning the tunnel, lowering tracks, dapping timbers on a bridge 150 feet north of the tunnel, paving and reconstructing a grade crossing 75 feet south of the tunnel, and relocating a fiber-optic line.

ECI Rail Constructors is scheduling work around two Amtrak trains each weekday; freight trains only operate at night and on weekends so the contractor can complete the project in early 2007.

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More News from 12/11/2006