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The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) on Friday announced it awarded a $3 million Rail Line Relocation and Improvement Capital Program grant to the Port of San Francisco to improve a nearly mile-long track.To be completed in July 2015, the project calls for upgrading the Quint Street lead between Oakdale Avenue and Third Street from industrial track to Class I track, which can be used for low-speed mainline service.The project will increase the safety and flow of motor vehicle traffic by reducing delays when freight trains enter or exit the port, and help avoid potential delays affecting Caltrain commuter-rail service, FRA officials said in a news brief.The FRA also awarded a $1.8 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery V (TIGER V) grant to the state of Oklahoma to rehabilitate 12 miles of track on a state-owned line between Erick and Sayre, Okla., that's operated by Farmrail System Inc. The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) approved the state's TIGER V grant application last year.Work involves the installation of new ties, rehabilitation of grade crossings and two bridges, and construction of an industrial siding near Erick.The project will prepare the segment for reclassification from excepted track that's infrequently used to Class I track to enable low-speed mainline service. The work will enable the line to accommodate faster train speeds and freight-service increases, FRA officials said.Meanwhile, the USDOT's Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology awarded two University Transportation Center (UTC) grants totaling $10.3 million to advance research and education programs addressing critical transportation challenges.The University of Virginia and University of Washington each will each receive a $5.16 million grant for fiscal years 2013 and 2014 as part of the UTC program. UTCs conduct research that help promote the safe, efficient and environmentally sound movement of goods and people.
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