November 26, 2013

New Mo. railroad bridge eliminates last chokepoint

A new railroad bridge that will eliminate the last chokepoint along the line between Jefferson City and St. Louis in Missouri was opened this week.

The $28 million project received $22.6 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding under the U.S. Department of Transportation’s High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Program (HSIPR) and was the largest ARRA project in the state.

The new Union Pacific Railroad bridge spanning the Osage River will reduce delays for more than 600 passengers traveling on Amtrak’s Missouri River Runner and the 60 freight trains that currently operate over the 283-mile Kansas City to St. Louis Corridor each day. On the old bridge, passenger and freight trains would often have to wait until a train coming from the opposite direction cleared.

With the addition of the new 1,200-foot structure, located just east of Jefferson City in Osage County, the rail corridor between St. Louis and Jefferson City now consists entirely of two mainline tracks that will allow Amtrak passenger trains and freight trains to pass through the area unimpeded. As a result, the region’s four Missouri River Runner trains will see faster, more reliable service.   

The Federal Railroad Administration, along with its 32 state partners and the District of Columbia, is laying the foundation for a higher performance rail network.

Sixty-five projects worth $4.1 billion in HSIPR program funding are currently completed, under construction, or will soon start construction in 20 states and the District of Columbia.

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