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California commission advocates more than $500 million in state funds for eight freight-rail projects


The California Transportation Commission (CTC) has recommended that 14 freight projects — including eight involving rail — receive $825 million in state funding.

The recommended projects are competing for more than $2 billion from the California Trade Corridor Improvement Fund (TCIF), which was created after voters approved a $20 billion Proposition 1B transportation bond in November 2006.

The recommended rail-related projects/funds — which would total more than $500 million in state monies — include $175 million for a grade separation at the Port of Oakland. The $427 million project calls for grade separating 7th Street for BNSF Railway Co. and Union Pacific Railroad terminals, replacing an overhead structure and adding track capacity.

In addition, the CTC recommends providing $110 million for a $220 million project calling for the construction of two outer-harbor intermodal terminals at the Port of Oakland featuring six 4,000-foot loading tracks and 12 4,000-foot storage tracks; and $71.5 million for a $215 million project under which two mainline tracks would be built between the port and Stege, Calif., in UP's Martinez Subdivision.

Other recommended rail-related projects/funds include:
• $54 million for the $111.7 million Tehachapi Trade Corridor Rail Improvement Project calling for the construction of a second BNSF mainline, extension of one siding and signaling system upgrade to Centralized Traffic Control in Tehachapi, Calif.;
• $43 million for an $86.8 million project under which track and tunnels at Donner Summit would be improved, such as by constructing a 9.3-mile second UP mainline and upgrading 1.3 miles of sidings;
• $25 million for the $57 million San Joaquin Valley short-haul rail/inland port project calling for the development of an inland port logistics center at Crows Landing Air Facility and short-haul rail service;
• $20 million for the $51 million Sacramento intermodal track relocation project calling for realigning freight- and passenger-rail tracks to a new rail corridor south of the intermodal terminal's central shops; and
• $15 million for the $30 million Shafter intermodal facility.

The CTC plans to consider adopting a final project/funding program at meetings to be held April 9-10 in Sacramento.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/13/2008