More RAISE grant money will be delivered to more rail projects

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
Norfolk Southern
Norfolk Southern appears to be a big winner in RAISE grant money for railroad projects.
Norfolk Southern

RAISE grants continue the quest of elevating railroad lines.

The U.S. DOT has issued several more Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grants. We wrote about the $6.77 million grant issued to the Wisconsin DOT, and the $7.12 million grant issued to Findlay, Ohio, but those were far from the biggest ones.

The Rapid City, Pierre & Eastern Railroad (RCP&E) in South Dakota will be receiving $22 million in RAISE money for a freight capacity expansion project that will upgrade 163 miles of main line between Fort Pierre, S.D., and Rapid City, S.D.

About 88 miles of rail will be replaced with 136-lb continuously welded rail, 80,000 new crossties will be placed, 11 turnouts will be installed and work will be done on improving 121 bridges. Currently the Fort Pierre-to-Rapid City route can handle 263,000-lb freight cars at 10 mph, but after work is complete those numbers will increase to 286,000 lb at a minimum of 25 mph.

South Dakota ($20 million) and RCP&E ($42 million) also will help pay for the project.

The Missouri DOT has won $17.25 million in RAISE funding for work on Norfolk Southern’s Grand River Bridge west of Brunswick. The main channel crossing will be replaced with a ballast-deck steel superstructure with through truss.

The Port of Longview in Washington State will receive a $16 million grant to add two 8,500-ft rail sidings and to extend current tracks 1,000 ft to accommodate unit trains.

A double-track project in Springfield, Ill., is the beneficiary of a $13.5 million grant. The project consists of double-tracking a segment of the Chicago-to-St. Louis route, which is used by Union Pacific and Amtrak. Track also will be relocated to an expanded corridor next to existing Norfolk Southern tracks around Springfield. The move will eliminate at-grade crossings.

Other projects receiving RAISE money are:

  • A Southwest Chief La Junta route restoration project ($2.79 million) in Prowers County, Colo.;
  • A grade-separated interchange project ($8 million) in Scott County, Minn.;
  • A 60-mile Class III rail line project ($2 million) in Mississippi; and
  • An at-grade railroad crossing replacement project ($2.08 million) in Aberdeen, Wash.

Read more articles on track maintenance.

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