How important are railroads to the country’s economy?
For over 180 years, railroads have revolutionized transportation, catalyzed economic development and united a nation. Thousands of American communities are connected through the US rail network, considered to be the longest and largest in the world with an operating route length of more than 155,342.8 miles. About 80% of the country’s total rail networks are used by freight lines while passenger network spans a total of 21,748 miles. On top of these, railroads deliver about 5 million tons of goods, on average every day, to ports, businesses and distribution centers.
Safe Railroad Network
Hence, it is important to keep the railroad tracks and crossings in tip-top condition and safe for both commuters and cargo. Under the U.S. Department of Transportation is the Federal Railroad Administration – the government agency tasked with promoting and regulating safety throughout the country’s railroad industry. Regular inspections of railroad tracks, grade crossing, signal and train control are done to ensure the railroad-worthiness of the rail network.
Repair On Railroad For New Amtrak Line
In Massachusetts, Clayton D. Davenport Trucking has been recently hired by the state Department of Transportation for the repair work needed on the structural steel components of the railroad framework on Holyoke Street. The repair work is necessitated by the new passenger line of Amtrak which is slated to cross the tracks after the repair work is completed.
Clayton D. Davenport Trucking is set to replace all 72 steel stringers in deteriorating condition, remove and replace selected damaged lateral braces on the bridge, along with the bolts, nuts and 304 stainless steel flat washers, and remove existing lead-based paint from around the repair areas.
The new passenger line of Amtrak known as the Knowledge Corridor line or Vermonter will include stops in:
It will run between Burlington and Washington DC. The Massachusetts DOT administered some $72 million in federal money for the improvement of the line, which included the recent installation of new seamless rails to cut down on noise and enhance passenger comfort. The company projected it would take seven weeks to complete the ongoing repair work.
New Repair Facility For Adirondack Scenic Railroad
In New York, the tourism railroad company – Adirondack Scenic Railroad, with operations based in the rail corridor between Saranac Lake and Lake Placid and in the NY Utica-Old Forge area received a $791,000 grant from the state to be used for a new repair and maintenance facility in Utica. The tourism railroad had apparently been operating sans full repair facilities. The Adirondack Scenic Railroad has been maintaining their 21 passenger cars and eight locomotives outside in the rail yard at Utica, and in a small one-stall shop south of Old Forge.
With the funding, repairs will become more efficient and would allow the tourism railroad to expand and diversify as a tourist attraction while at the same time having a large facility for contract work. The new repair facility will be 220 feet long x 75 feet wide with:
- 2 tracks in the building
- An inspection pit
- A room to repair a variety of equipment
The Adirondack Scenic Railroad is currently checking sites for the project in the vicinity of Union Station, north of the railroad tracks.
Rehabilitation Of Railroad Track In Orange County
Similarly, a $1.9 million grant was received by the Middletown and New Jersey Railroad, LLC for the rehabilitation of the railroad track in Orange County. The railroad company serves a variety of local customers ranging from local agricultural farmers to chemical and lumber companies.
The State of New York awarded $17.8 million in state funds from the State’s Passenger and Freight Rail Assistance Program to 12 rail projects for the repair and replacement of 65 miles of track and ties, rehabilitation of rail grade crossings and bridges, and the construction of new connections that will improve safety and rail operations.
Repair On Major Rail Crossings In Davidson, NC
In North Carolina, Norfolk Southern Company started repairs on major rail crossings in Davidson which forced drivers to detour onto side streets. The Virginia-based freight railroad company started replacing wooden ties and adding new stone ballast along the tracks known as “O Line” between Mooresville and Huntersville. No work of this kind has been done on the rail line since 1992. Crews have also repaired and repaved the grade crossings at Griffith and Catawba and at Depot, Delburg and Beaty streets.
Do you know of other railroad tracks with ongoing or scheduled repair work?