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Missouri DOT seeks stimulus dollars for 11 rail projects

(The following appeared on the Progressive Railroading website on August 6, 2009.)

The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission recently approved the Missouri Department of Transportation’s (MoDOT) plan to add 11 rail projects totaling $201.3 million to the state’s five-year transportation improvement program.

The projects will be included in MoDOT's final application to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) for competitive High-Speed/Intercity Passenger Rail grants created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Applications for four of the projects are due to the FRA on Aug. 24 and applications for the remaining seven projects are due Oct. 2.

The projects include:

• new double track and signal upgrades from Lee's Summit to Pleasant Hill ($56.6 million) to increase Amtrak train speed from 79 mph to 90 mph;

• the purchase two new sets of locomotives and passenger equipment ($50 million) for use on the St. Louis-to-Kansas City Amtrak route;

• .a second rail bridge over the Osage River ($33.8 million) to eliminate train delays caused by a single-track bottleneck over the bridge;

• a new grade separation ($15 million) to remove a grade crossing in Strasburg;
• a new passing siding in Kingsville ($11.5 million) to break up 25-mile segment with no such siding;

• a third mainline in Jefferson City Yard ($9.7 million) to increase the yard’s fluidity and maintain bi-directional freight operations with Amtrak trains;

• a 9,000-foot passing siding extension in Knob Noster ($8.5 million) to break up a 27-mile segment without a usable passing siding;

• a new universal crossover in Hermann ($5.2 million) to close an 18.2-mile gap on a double mainline with no crossovers;

• a new universal crossover in Webster ($4.4 million) to sort freight and passenger trains into and out of the St. Louis area;

• crossing safety improvements near Sedalia ($3.6 million) primarily by upgrading 13 crossings and closing two; and

• real-time passenger information displays ($3 million) at eight intermediate stations.

Some of the projects will help MoDOT develop high-speed Amtrak service on an existing Union Pacific Railroad line between St. Louis and K.C. Other projects will complement several ongoing rail improvements, such as construction of double track at the Gasconade River Bridge that’s funded by UP and a new passing siding under construction near California.

Friday, August 7, 2009

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