Thursday, January 07, 2010

Alaska Railroad to build 80-mile extension

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The Surface Transportation Board granted the request of the Alaska Railroad Corporation to construct and operate a new, 80-mile railroad line, the Northern Rail Extension, subject to extensive environmental-mitigation conditions. The new line would run from North Pole, AK, outside of Fairbanks, to Delta Junction, which is only served by road or air.

According to the STB decision, "the Board was satisfied that the proposed line would provide reliable, year-round freight and passenger service to the region south of North Pole, AK; access to training areas used by the United States military; and an alternative to the Richardson Highway, now the sole means for surface transportation of commercial freight in the proposed project area. The Board was also satisfied that the proposal would foster development of Alaska's economy by expanding ARRC's passenger and freight network to an area currently without rail service."

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