Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Connecticut Awards $8 million for Rail Freight

(via the Trains.com News Wire)

HARTFORD, Conn. – Last week, Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, joined by Congressman Joe Courtney and state Department of Transportation Commissioner James P. Redeker, awarded more than $8 million in Rail Freight Infrastructure Program funding. The funding will be released to four regional and shortline railroads to improve and modernize the state's rail freight system. The Central New England Railroad, New England Central Railroad, Naugatuck Railroad, and Providence and Worcester Railroad will repair and upgrade rail lines, roadbeds, crossings, and culverts, as well as other related facilities.

“Improving our freight rail infrastructure is a critical component of strengthening Connecticut’s economy,” Gov. Malloy says. “Upgrades to tracks and crossings for rail freight certainly improve our overall transit system, but also create good jobs and a strong system for future commerce. These improvements will allow more freight to be moved safely at higher speeds, while at the same time ease highway gridlock and reduce air pollution.”

Annually, rail freight companies move 8.5 million tons of freight through Connecticut on more than 625 miles of tracks. 

"This competitive program specifically for freight rail companies will result in short-term improvements with long-term benefits," Commissioner Redeker says. "Freight operators are combining this funding with their own resources; this is a true public/private partnership that will have a positive lasting impact on Connecticut rail transportation.”

The projects funded include:
• $2.46 million for Central New England track and grade crossing signal infrastructure improvements installed between Hartford and Bloomfield on the state-owned line. Grade crossing warning devices will be installed, and surface and track improvements will be made at the Wintonbury Avenue and Mills Lane crossings in Bloomfield.
• $3.58 million for New England Central to upgrade its main line between New London and the Connecticut/Massachusetts state line to accommodate 286,000-pound rail cars. The project includes upgrading switches, making repairs to the Norwich Tunnel, and rehabilitating nine grade crossings. 
• $1.65 million for Naugatuck Railroad to repair the state-owned line between Waterbury and Torrington. Naugatuck Railroad will replace ties and worn rails, and improve a rail crossing at Frost Bridge Road on Route 262 in Watertown.
• $760,000 for Providence & Worcester Railroad to rehabilitate 26 miles of the Norwich Branch between Plainfield and the Massachusetts state line. New ties, spikes, and ballast will be installed, and rail speeds on the line will increase.

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