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4/9/2009



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

STB releases consultant's report on freight-rail capacity; Canadian governments spur grade separation in Windsor


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Yesterday, the Surface Transportation Board (STB) announced that consulting firm Christensen Associates has completed a supplemental report on U.S. freight-rail capacity and infrastructure investment.

The report augments the firm’s findings from a November 2008 study on freight-rail competition. The supplemental report analyzes different measures of rail capacity and how that capacity is affected by anticipated changes in rail demand and rail-asset productivity. Christensen Associates also delved into long-term rail demand forecasts as a basis of railroad investment projections.

The STB is accepting written public comments on the supplemental report until May 8. Written replies are due by May 28.

Meanwhile, the governments of Canada and Ontario are advancing a project in Windsor that will help address the area’s rail capacity. The governments are funding the Howard Avenue CPR grade separation project, which is scheduled to begin in summer.

The project calls for constructing a rail bridge structure and grade separation on Canadian Pacific’s line. Some demolition work is under way and will be completed in mid-May. Bids for construction of the main grade separation will be let later this spring.

The project will be jointly funded by the governments of Canada and Ontario under “Let's Get Windsor-Essex Moving,” a $300 million transportation infrastructure funding program.

The project will “pave the way for future border-crossing infrastructure improvements, which will, in turn, boost our local economy and encourage trade and tourism in our region." said Jeff Watson, a member of Parliament for Essex, in a prepared statement.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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