Work on Lac-Megantic bypass to begin in 2021

News Wire Digest second section for July 6: SEPTA still uncertain when full Regional Rail service will resume; Mass Coastal now fully able to handle 286,000-pound cars
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More Monday morning rail news in brief:

Lac-Megantic bypass work to begin in 2021, government says

The government of Quebec announced Sunday that construction of a rail bypass around the town of Lac-Mégantic will begin in 2021. The Montreal Gazette reports that the 8-mile line relocation of the Canadian Pacific, away from the site of the 2013 derailment and fire that killed 47 people, should be complete in 2022. The federal government is leading the C$133 million project, to which Quebec will contribute approximately 40%. The announcement came on the eve of seventh anniversary of the disaster, which will be marked today with the dedication of a memorial to the victims [see “Derailment blocks UP line in Texas,” News Wire Digest, July 1, 2020].

Date for full resumption of SEPTA commuter operations remains unknown
SEPTA While the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority has resumed full service for buses, subways, and trolleys, the agency’s Regional Rail commuter operation continues to operate on reduced schedule. That could be true for some time, KYW News Radio reports. SEPTA General Manager Leslie Richards told the station that Regional Rail demand remains below normal levels as some companies continue to allow employees to work remotely, and that some employees say this will continue into the fall or later. “There’s still a lot of unknowns,” she said. “… The way [commuters] use our system will be quite different than before the pandemic.”

Mass Coastal now fully capable of handling 286,00-pound cars
The Mass Coastal Railroad has announced it is now capable of carrying 286,000-pound freight cars systemwide, completing a more than five-year project to raise weight limits on its infrastructure to handle the current freight rail equipment standard. The project, involving Mass Coastal, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, and CSX Transportation, was completed with certification of the Northeast Corridor between Mansfield and Attleboro, Mass., to handle the higher weight-limit cars. The 99-mile Mass Coast operates in the Cape Cod area.

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