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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Railroads continue to restore flood-ravaged infrastructure

It's taken nearly a month, but a number of railroads are closer to recovering from the devastating floods that submerged the nation's midsection in early June.

The Louisville & Indiana Railroad (LIRC) has reopened its 106-mile mainline between Louisville, Ky., and Indianapolis, Ind., including a bridge near Rockford, Ind., that had collapsed from flood waters. Six portions of the line were washed out by heavy rains June 8.

"We recovered the spans from the water, which made the project go much faster," said LIRC President John Secor in a prepared statement.

Several short lines and regionals operating in Iowa also expect to resume normal operations soon. Cedar Rapids & Iowa City Railway is getting ready to reopen its Iowa City yard; Iowa Interstate Railroad Ltd. is wrapping up final track repairs; Iowa Northern Railway is repairing washed-out track and developing a timeline to rebuild a Union Pacific Railroad-owned bridge it leases in Waterloo to cross the Cedar River; and Iowa River Railroad is repairing a 28-mile line between Gifford and Marshalltown.

BNSF Railway Co. is completing infrastructure repairs in Iowa, too. Last week, the Class I reopened all its Mississippi River crossings and restored track east of Burlington.

BNSF's trackage along the west bank of the Mississippi between Burlington and Quincy, Ill., Quincy and St. Louis, and St. Louis and Memphis remains out of service. The railroad has deployed six ballast trains to fill several washed-out areas and remove debris along 11 miles of track.

Between West Quincy and Burlington, about 7.5 miles of track remain under water. BNSF officials are assessing damage and developing plans to restore the track.

In Wisconsin, the Iowa, Chicago & Eastern Railroad Corp. continues to repair track between Beloit and Janesville, and the Wisconsin & Southern Railroad Co. expects to resume operations in the Reedburg Subdivision later this week and Prairie Subdivision by mid-month.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/9/2008