Friday, September 06, 2013

VTrans awarded $8.9 million for Western Corridor Rail Rehabilitation

The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) has been awarded an $8.9 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant to rehabilitate a freight corridor and prepare it for future passenger service.

The $18.5-million project involves rehabilitating 20 miles of the state-owned Vermont Railway from Rutland to Leicester, which includes replacing nine miles of rail, upgrading 11 at-grade farm crossings and other improvements. When completed, this project will eliminate track-related slow orders, allowing for unrestricted Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Class 3 speed operations of up to 40 mph. The Vermont Rail System operates over the line and provides a critical connection for shippers to the Class 1 network in New York.

The project also supports the state's efforts to improve the line to allow for the future extension of Amtrak's Ethan Allen service from Rutland to Burlington. Approximately $6 million in match funding is coming from previous federal appropriations benefiting the corridor, as well as $3.2 million from the state and $200,000 in-kind contributions from the rail operator.

"This investment is helping to move the economy by improving track, bridges and other infrastructure, building stations and intermodal facilities, advancing higher-performing rail service and improving safety," said FRA Administrator Joseph Szabo.

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