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4/6/2009



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

California Northern shoulders heavy loads for California power plant


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The California Northern Railroad (CFNR) recently began moving large components for Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s new generating station in Colusa County, Calif.

The dimensional freight includes turbines, generators, compressors, modules and other oversize power plant components. The loads — some of which weigh as much as 540,000 pounds, and are tall and wide — require extra handling, specialized rail cars and line clearances.

The Sierra Northern Railroad initially moves the freight from the Port of Sacramento to West Sacramento, where Union Pacific Railroad interchanges with Sierra Northern and transports the loads to Davis. The 250-mile CFNR then moves the components 75 miles to a spur in Delavan, which was built to accommodate dimensional loads. The freight is trucked the final four miles over temporary roads to the construction site.

Owned by RailAmerica Inc., CFNR expects to complete shipments in July. The power plant is scheduled for completion in summer 2010.

"Projects such as these demonstrate that short lines, like CFNR, are fully capable of providing the service needed to accommodate large companies with specialized transportation needs, and to do so in a seamless fashion with our Class I partners,” said CFNR General Manager Don Seil in a prepared statement.


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