The Union Pacific sidetrack is under construction west of California, Mo., in the vicinity of Elkhorn Crossing, the California Democrat reports. When completed in December 2009, the 9,000-foot rail side track will allow two trains to pass, adding capacity and reducing delays for both rail freight shipments and the Amtrak Missouri River Runner trains between Kansas City and St. Louis.
According to Kevin Keith,
MoDOT Chief Engineer, this is the first of the public and private cooperative
efforts in improving rail infrastructure. The state designated $5 million for
the work, drawing more than $3 million more in federal funds for the project.
The project is one of the
results of a planned study by Dr. James Noble and Charles Nemmers, P.E., of the
University of Missouri-Columbia. Looking at initial rail bottlenecks and the
value of improving efficiency, the study recommended side tracks.