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FRA issues grants for Maine trackwork, California college rail-defect detection R&D


The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) recently awarded grants for track rehabilitation work in Portland, Maine, and the continued development of a rail defect detection device in San Diego.

The FRA will provide $500,000 to the city of Portland, Maine for the trackwork, which includes rail, tie and ballast replacement, rail surfacing and turnout renewals.

To be completed by March 2010, the project will add capacity, eliminate slow orders and increase the speed of passenger-rail operations from 10 mph to 25 mph, the FRA said. In addition, the project will again permit the use of wye tracks to turn passenger cars and switch locomotives among trainsets in the event of mechanical difficulties, the administration said.

The FRA also awarded $238,510 to the University of California-San Diego to continue refining a rail defect detection prototype. The university previously received a $231,802 grant in July 2008 and conducted field tests.

The device is designed to provide faster defect detection at speeds up to 40 mph. Proceeds also will help fund a planned demonstration of the device at the Transportation Technology Center Inc. in Pueblo, Colo.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/29/2009