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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

CRISI grant awards announced for local rail projects

A $7.3 million grant was awarded to support projects for the R.J. Corman Railroad Group's Central Kentucky lines.
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U.S. lawmakers yesterday began announcing grants awarded in their states through the federal Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) program.

The CRISI awards include:

• A $14.7 million grant for a Berks County, Pennsylvania, rail project, which calls for rehabilitating 8.6 miles of track and rehabilitating or replacing 14 bridges between Boyertown and Pottstown, according to a press release from U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-Penn.). The grant will also be used to fund the construction of two rail-served transload yards and improve drainage issues that lead to large quantities of water on nearby roadways.

• A $7.3 million grant to support projects for the R.J. Corman Central Kentucky lines. The first project will create a new freight rail-to-truck transload facility near Frankfort. Additionally, the grant award will lead to improvement projects to the existing main yard and transload facility in Lexington. The repairs include rehabilitating grade crossings and track, a new office building, switching replacements and expanding transload storage pads, as well as paving truck and traffic areas, according to a press release issued by U.S. Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky.).

• A $4.96 million grant to fund safety improvements for the Alabama Tennessee River Railway between Birmingham and Guntersville, Alabama, U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) announced in a press release. The project calls for upgrading siding and wye tracks that can handle increased traffic; eliminating switching across State Route 144; rehabilitating the SR-144 grade crossing surface; reactivating rockslide warning signals to allow for 25 mph train speeds between Birmingham and Ragland; and eliminating bridge defects on nine bridge structures to ensure continued 286,000-pound capacity. The project is expected to increase capacity, speed and efficiency and eliminate safety risks posed by rail-switching operations across SR-144.

• A $1.84 million grant to fund the rehabilitation of 24 miles of the Gettysburg Northern Railway mainline in Adams and Cumberland counties, according to a press release from Sen. Casey’s office. The project will improve safety standards, construct a new runaround track, upgrade more than 15 crossings and repair seven failing culverts.