Grant announcements include $47.5 million to North Carolina to buy route from CSX

Initial announcements of CRISI grants also include funds for Ohio, Illinois, Texas
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A $47.5 million award allowing North Carolina to purchase the S-Line rail corridor heads a list of Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvments (CRISI) grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation announced by local politicians. Six grants totaling more than $13.8 million in Ohio, a $10 million grant for improvements in Springfield, Ill., and a $241,000 grant to the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station were also announced.

— The $47.5 million grant to the North Carolina Department of Transportation will purchase the former Seaboard Air Line right-of-way between Raleigh and Ridgeway, N.C., from CSX Transportation for future use as a high speed rail route, the Raleigh News & Observer reports. That will connect with 65 miles of right-of-way which Virginia is buying from CSX as part of its $3.7 billion deal last year which also addresses rail congestion south of Washington, D.C. [see “Virginia, CSX announce major rail infrastructure plan,” Trains News Wire, Dec. 20, 2019]. CSX had also agreed to allow North Carolina to purchase a 10-mile segment of the S-Line where tracks had been removed between the state line and Ridgeway, but the Raleigh-Ridgeway segment is still an active CSX line.

— The group of Ohio grants, as reported by WFMJ-TV, include:

- $4.5 million for improvements on the Chicago, Fort Wayne & Eastern, which will include replacing 10.8 miles of jointed rail with welded rail, install new ballast and ties, replace seven turnouts and rehabilitate another, and rebuild yard tracks between Lima, Ohio, and Fort Wayne, Ind.

- $4.1 million to replace 10 miles of 80-pound rail with 132 or 136 pound rail, and to replace 29,000 ties on a 29-mile stretch of the Napolean, Defiance & Western between Defiance, Ohio, and Woodburn, Ind.

- $2.2 million for improvements on four routes owned by the R.J. Corman Railroad Co.

- $1.2 million for an enclosed conveyor belt system to move materials from the Cincinnati Bulk Terminals port to the Central Railroad of Indiana.

- $1.1 million for grade crossing improvements including a new traffic signal and crossing gates at at CSX and Central Railroad of Indiana crossings in Cincinnati.

- $700,000 to rehabilitate 25 miles of mainline on the Youngstown & Southeastern Railroad, including tie replacement, track resurfacing, switch renewal and grade-crossing improvements.

— In Springfield, Ill, the State Journal-Register reports, the $10 million grant will be used to replace railroad underpasses at South Grande Avenue and Cook Street, and also to close a crossing at Jackson Street. The work is part of the ongoing, $315 million Springfield Rail Improvements Project, which is consolidating Union Pacific and Norfolk Southern lines into a single corridor.

KBTX-TV reports the grant to Texas A&M will fund the use of drone technology and three-dimensional mapping to study passive grade crossings in rural areas.

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