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Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

BNSF takes wraps off Cajon Pass triple track

BNSF Railway Co. can operate 50 more trains through southern California’s Cajon Pass thanks to a recently completed third mainline — the first additional track to be built through the pass since the second mainline was constructed in 1913.

The Class I spent $90 million to build 16 miles of triple track on a portion of the Los Angeles-to-Chicago “Transcon” intermodal route that taps into the L.A. Basin. Now, BNSF can operate 150 trains through the pass daily instead of 100. On Monday, the railroad marked the first train to use the third mainline.

"Cajon Pass is our only southern California connection to the rest of the BNSF network from the San Pedro Ports," said Mark Kirschinger, BNSF general manager-California Division, in a prepared statement.

During the past four years, more than 300 BNSF employees and contractors worked on the triple-track project. Crews moved more than 1 million tons of earth, installed about 42,000 concrete ties and laid more than 30 miles of rail.

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More News from 11/7/2008