BOCA RATON, Fla. — CSX Transportation will add more track in capacity expansion projects in 2017 than in 2016, according to a presentation by Tod Echler, associate vice president engineering on Wednesday at the National Railroad Construction & Maintenance Association convention.
The railroad plans to add 49 miles of new track in eight states as part of capacity expansion projects in 2017. Echler did not offer details on other capital spending plans for 2017.
Major projects on tap include the Howard Street Tunnel in Baltimore, a 1.7-mile single-track bore built in 1895 which needs reconstruction to accommodate double-stack trains. The railroad is still completing funding for the project, expected to take four to five years and cost $1-3 billion.
In 2016, CSX was challenged by Hurricane Matthew, which affected nearly 2,600 route miles on 28 subdivisions — roughly 13 percent of the system. The railroad cleared more than 7,000 trees and deployed more than 800 generators during the recovery process.
The railroad added 20 miles of new track in four states in 2016. It also opened the first tunnel of the massive Virginia Avenue Tunnel project in Washington, D.C., a project to be completed in 2018. Opening of that tunnel cleared the route from Portsmouth, Va., to Chicago for double-stack service.