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Next month, Indiana Rail Road Co. (INRD) plans to begin replacing a bridge over the White River near Elnora, Ind., that was built in 1898.To be completed in October 2015, the $14 million project calls for erecting a 450-foot steel plate girder bridge. The Indiana Department of Transportation helped secure an $8 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant to help fund the project, according to an item in INRD's summer newsletter.Existing bridge piers in the river will remain, but will be rehabilitated and receive a reinforced concrete casing prior to the placment of the bridge sections. The wood pile approaches will be replaced with precast concrete and steel decks.The bridge also is used by Indiana Southern Railroad via trackage rights over the river. The new bridge will provide INRD, the Indiana Southern and southwest Indiana customers with a structure designed to accommodate the heaviest loads at a posted track speed of 40 mph, INRD officials said in the newsletter. Due to the bridge's age, INRD has placed a 10 mph train speed restriction over the structure and limited rail-car maximum weight to 263,000 pounds, below the rail industry's 286,000-pound standard.The project is part of INRD's capital reinvestment program that will reach a new milestone this year. Cumulative capital spending since the railroad was formed 28 years ago will surpass $180 million in 2014."To put that in perspective, in less than 30 years, we have reinvested from earnings nearly 35 times the initial purchase price of our railroad," said INRD President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Hoback in the newsletter.Meanwhile, Watco Terminal & Port Services has appointed Jeff Lederer general manager of the Pecos Valley Southern Railway (PVSR) to succeed Mike Salts, who will be returning to Watco's South Kansas and Oklahoma Railroad to be closer to his Kansas home.Lederer most recently was division general manager-North Lines for OmniTRAX Inc. He previously served BNSF Railway Co. for 19 years, beginning as a brakeman and progressing to positions of increasing responsibility.PVSR operates 19 miles of track formerly operated by Capitol Aggregates in Pecos, Texas, and interchanges with Union Pacific Railroad.
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