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The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today announced it obligated a $2.2 million grant for the city of Tavares, Fla., to help fund upgrades along a 57-mile stretch of Florida Central Railroad's (FCEN) track between Orlando and Umatilla, Fla.To begin in July, the $18.4 million project calls for improving tracks, ties, bridges and grade crossings. The railroad currently operates on the segment at 10 mph and the upgrades will enable the short line to boost speed to 25 mph, FRA officials said in a press release. Owned by Pinsly Railroad Co., FCEN operates 68 miles of track in central Florida and interchanges with CSX Transportation.The FRA is providing the funds through the Rail Line Relocation Program. The remaining $16.2 million for the project will be covered via a joint effort by FCEN; the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization; Metroplan Orlando; Florida Department of Transportation; cities of Tavares, Eustis, Umatilla, Mount Dora, Apopka, Winter Garden, Ocoee and Orlando; and Orange and Lake counties.
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