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Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

U.S., Canadian politicians praise benefits of government-funded rail projects


Last week, U.S. Sens. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) and John Boozman (R-Ark.), and U.S. Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.) extolled the benefits of a federal $2.72 million Rail Line Relocation and Improvement program grant received by the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department.

The grant will help fund rehabilitation work and upgrades on 40 miles of track along the Arkansas Midland Railroad’s (AKMD) Warren Branch, which runs between Warren and Dermott, Ark. The branch line improvements are designed to remedy poor track conditions caused by inadequate drainage and heavy freight loads, which have contributed to washouts, broken rails, derailments and slow orders. Owned by the Pinsly Railroad Co., AKMD operates seven branch lines in Arkansas totaling 125 miles.

“Rail is critical to almost every industry in our state, from manufacturing to agriculture and timber. By improving these rail lines, we not only make transportation safer, but also more efficient,” said Ross in a prepared statement.

Meanwhile, Canadian federal, British Columbia and local officials on Friday marked the start of construction on the 80th Street overpass in Delta, B.C., along the Roberts Bank Rail Corridor (RBRC). To be completed in June 2012, the overpass will be funded in part by $7.2 million from the Canadian government, $4.8 million from Port Metro Vancouver, $2 million from the province and $1.8 million from the municipality of Delta.

“This grade separation will enhance rail operations and accommodate increased road and rail movements along the RBRC, an integral part of Canada's Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor,” said Canadian Minister of International Trade Ed Fast in a prepared statement.

The overpass is one of nine planned projects in a RBRC program projected to cost $307 million. The program calls for building eight overpasses and one 43-mile rail siding to connect Roberts Bank, Canada's largest container facility and coal terminal, with the North American rail network.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/19/2011