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Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

KCS wrapping up infrastructure improvements on Meridian Speedway


As 2003 draws to a close, Kansas City Southern plans to put the finishing touches on several maintenance-of-way projects designed to improve productivity on the Meridian Speedway, the railroad’s Meridian, Miss.-to-Shreveport, La., line.

KCS is grading the site for a new 8,500-foot Gibsland siding, which includes no crossings, and is designed to reduce crew waiting time for train meets and passes, according to a prepared statement. The railroad expects to begin trackwork on Dec. 1.

The Class I also is grading and driving bridge piles for a new Harmon siding, named after recently retired Operating Superintendent Jerry Harmon. Scheduled to be in service Jan. 15, the siding is designed to halve a current 40-mile distance between existing sidings.

To handle growing traffic through Jackson, Miss., KCS is constructing double track between a Canadian National Railway Co. crossing and the city’s west end. The project is about 90 percent complete.

KCS also is completing design of five miles of double track between Monroe and Magenta, La., that would enable the Class I to increase train speed and reduce transit times. The railroad expects to begin construction in January and complete the project in the year’s second half.