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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

Cimarron Valley Railroad to replace six wildfire-damaged bridges


The Cimarron Valley Railroad is in the midst of replacing six bridges in Kansas that were destroyed or heavily damaged by wildfires caused by an extreme drought. The bridges are located in three counties along the short line’s 245-mile network, which runs from Dodge City, Kan., to Pritchett, Colo., and from Santana, Kan., to Boise City, Okla.

The damaged bridges include a 917-foot structure built in 1913 southwest of Dodge City. The railroad expects to complete the bridge work by year’s end, says Eddie Hale, vice president of operations for The Western Group, which owns the Cimarron Valley Railroad, three other short lines and a passenger excursion railroad.

The Cimarron Valley Railroad will provide $3 million for the $6 million project. The remainder will be covered by a Kansas Department of Transportation loan and funds from a western Kansas development association.

The short line has dealt with infrastructure damage from wildfires before, but “the magnitude of this loss is something new,” says Hale.

Jeff Stagl

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/9/2011