Digest: Utah considers cog railway to serve ski resorts

News Wire Digest third section for Nov. 23: CN supports climate-related financial disclosures; Maine to tear down part of historic rail bridge
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A Utah DOT map shows (in purple) the proposed route of a cog railway to serve the Snowbird and Alta ski areas.
Utah Department of Transportation

Still more Monday morning rail news:

Utah to consider cog railway to serve recreational area

A cog railway has been added to the list of options under consideration by the Utah Department of Transportation to address traffic congestion in Little Cottonwood Canyon, a popular recreation area which includes the Snowbird and Alta ski areas. The Deseret News reports the cog railway and a second option for a gondola system were added to an existing list of potential projects which also includes two concepts for enhanced bus service. A Utah DOT report on the two new options says both would originate from a 1,500-space parking lot near the La Caille restaurant in Sandy, Utah. The report estimates the cost of the cog railway, which would be about 8.6 miles long, at $987 million and the comparable gondola at $398.2 to $477.8 million. The report says the two new proposals were added based on public comments, but the newspaper says they were immediately attacked by conservation groups who said they threaten the appeal of the area.

CN announces support for Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures
Canadian National has become the first North American railroad company to formally support the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. CN released its first TCFD report earlier this year, among other information on Environmental, Social and Governance matters noted in this press release. “We are working to build a strong environmental legacy of leadership, by means of carbon-efficient operations, conserving resources and protecting and restoring natural ecosystems,” CEO JJ Ruest said. The TCFD has developed voluntary and consistent methods for companies to provide information to ienders, insurers, investors and others, as published in a 2017 report; more information is available here.

Maine DOT set to tear down part of historic rail bridge
Maine’s Department of Transportation is preparing to demolish part of a historic railroad bridge in Portland, which groups had hoped to use for restoration of passenger service or a rail trail, because of its continued deterioration after a 1984 fire. The Press-Herald reports the former Grand Trunk Railroad bridge will be torn down at the request of the Board of Maine Harbor Commission, which says pieces of the bridge have fallen into the water and damaged recreational boats, and pose a hazard to commercial shipping. The state DOT plans to demolish the southern portion of the bridge, while leaving a swing bridge and the northern portion. Work will likely begin Nov. 30 and be finished by the end of the year, at an estimated cost of $400,000.

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