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Alaska Railroad open houses to discuss 2010 capital project plans

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The Alaska Railroad is inviting the public to a series of open house to provide an opportunity to review and comment on a proposed Program of Projects for 2010. The open houses will showcase continuing and proposed capital improvement projects that are in various stages from conceptual planning to engineering and construction. Project managers will be on-hand to explain projects that are located all along the railroad system from Seward to Fairbanks.

At
the first open house in Anchorage, the emphasis will be on projects located in Anchorage,
Southcentral Alaska and system-wide, including:

·
Ship Creek Intermodal Transportation Center (Phase Two).

·
Ship Creek Security Fencing.

·
Rail Capacity Improvements, Anchorage Yard (MP 114) to

Airport
Spur (MP 110).

·
Historic Freight Shed LEED-certified Office Space Renovation

(an
Alaska first).

·
Southcentral Alaska Commuter Rail Study Update.

·
Port MacKenzie Rail Extension.

·
Positive Train Control (Collision Avoidance System).

·
Wheel Impact Load Detector.

·
Bridge and Track Replacements and Rehabilitation.

The
new self-propelled diesel multiple unit (DMU) railcar will be on display at the
Anchorage event.

The
Anchorage event is the first in a series of POP Open House events. Open Houses are
scheduled in Wasilla, with emphasis on projects located in and around the Mat-Su
Valley and Southcentral Alaska, in Fairbanks, where emphasis will be on
projects located in Interior Alaska, and Seward, where emphasis will be on
projects located in and around Seward and Southcentral Alaska.

The
Alaska Railroad has budgeted approximately $43.1 million in new spending for
capital improvements in 2010. About $14.3 million will come from Federal
Transit Administration grants.  This
amount includes a required nine-percent matching contribution from the Alaska
Railroad. In addition to FTA grant match, ARRC will spend another $19.1 million
toward internally-funded capital projects using revenues generated from
passenger, freight and real estate activity.

Finally,
the railroad will spend about $9.7 million of funds generated from the sale of
revenue bonds that were sold in 2006 and 2007. Bonds are repaid with FTA formula
fund appropriations.

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