BNSF plans Nebraska upgrades

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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. — BNSF Railway is preparing to launch a three-year, $90 million project to add double track and alleviate a bottleneck near Grand Island, the Grand Island Independent has reported. The work will double-track a roughly 10-mile stretch through the city, and involves a series of key bridges.

BNSF and predecessor Burlington Northern have gradually upgraded the line through Grand Island over the past four decades as coal traffic from the Powder River Basin has grown. The elevated right-of-way through town, which jumps several city streets and Union Pacific’s Central Corridor main line, has complicated plans for double track.

“Double tracking here is complex and expensive and involves the addition of 15 bridges and/or overpasses,” said Andy Williams, a BNSF spokesman.

The stretch to be improved stretches from Milepost 88.9 to Milepost 99.2 on BNSF’s Ravenna Subdivision. It’s the longest stretch of single track remaining on the subdivision.

Workers will complete the project in three phases, with the first two beginning later this year. All three should be completed by 2014.
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