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STB blesses Alaska Railroad's plan to build North Pole line


Yesterday, the Surface Transportation Board (STB) announced it granted the Alaska Railroad Corp.’s (ARRC) request to construct and operate an 80-mile line between North Pole and Delta Junction, subject to certain environmental mitigation conditions.

The railroad plans to build the “Northern Rail Extension” to provide year-round freight- and passenger-rail service to the region south of North Pole, Alaska. The line would serve as an alternative to Richardson Highway, the area’s sole means of ground transportation. In addition, the line would provide the U.S. military year-round access to training areas that currently can be reached only by air.

The STB will require ARRC to institute several environmental mitigation measures, such as preventing train-moose collisions, providing access to trails and waterways, and protecting fish and wetlands. In addition, the railroad must build the line along alternative routes and segments designated as environmentally preferable, the STB ruled.

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More News from 1/7/2010