Coldwater, Mich., helps fund ‘imperative’ rail improvement project

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
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A high-speed rail route in the Southeast is being pushed for federal financial support.

The city of Coldwater, Mich., will be using just over $300,000 of its Capital Improvement Fund to pay for a portion of 10.1 miles of rail line improvement.

The line starts in Quincy, Mich., and goes all the way to Montpellier, Ohio. Coldwater is one of the owners of the Rail Users Association, which purchased the 10.1 miles of track from the federal government back in 2002. Indiana Northeast Railroad owns the route that starts at Quincy, Ill., and goes to Montpellier, Ohio. Indiana Northeast will pay for a quarter of the $1.2 million project in Coldwater, and the remaining amount will be handled by the Michigan Department of Transportation.

Crossties and the bridge over the Sauk River need to be repaired. The rail line also needs to be upgraded to handle 286,000 lb. Panel Processing temporarily closed its plant in Coldwater because it had two other plants that were on rails that could handle the higher weight limit.

Coldwater City Manager Keith Baker said it is imperative that an option to ship by rail be maintained.

The project could begin as early as this winter and is scheduled for completion in 2022.

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