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Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

Watco lays out 2004 MOW plans for its seven short lines

Last year, The Watco Cos. Inc. installed more than 100,000 wood ties and resurfaced more than 250 track miles as part of a maintenance-of-way program for its seven short lines. This year, the short-line holding company plans to install more than 140,000 wood ties and resurface more than 350 track miles, according to Watco's January newsletter.

At the 511-mile South Kansas and Oklahoma Railroad Co., Watco expects to install more than 30,000 ties and resurface 70 track miles compared with 31,500 ties and 60 track miles in 2003. The company also plans to install continuous-welded rail segments on the short line's Neodesha Subdivision to eliminate rail joints.

"We want to remove [more] slow orders and maintain a consistent train speed," said Watco Chief Engineer Scott Adams.

Watco expects to replace more than 36,000 ties and surface more than 70 track miles at the 920-mile Kansas and Oklahoma Railroad Co. compared with 27,775 ties and more than 70 track miles last year. The company also plans to expand the Orient Yard's capacity to increase Class I interchange flexibility and minimize seasonal constraints.

At the 232-mile Stillwater Central Railroad Co., Watco expects to install 30,000 ties, line and surface 58 track miles, and replace several curves after installing 14,982 ties and surfacing more than 40 track miles last year.

The company also plans to install about 15,000 ties and surface 30 track miles at the 140-mile Timber Rock Railroad Co. compared with 8,500 ties and 25 track miles in 2003; and install about 15,000 ties and resurface 30 track miles at the 270-mile Eastern Idaho Railroad Co. compared with 12,500 ties and more than 30 track miles last year.

"By renewing and/or upgrading less-than-desirable conditions, we can increase train speed and safety, [then] we can become more effective and efficient in servicing our customers along with improving our asset utilization," said Adams.

Watco didn't announce MOW plans for the 40-mile Palouse River & Coulee City Railroad Co., on which the company replaced 6,000 ties last year.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/13/2004