Rail- USDOT awards grants for rail service study, electric locomotive research and safety system development. Progressive Railroading

Posted: October 2, 2012 in Uncategorized

October 1, 2012

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) recently provided $3.5 million in grants to improve freight- and passenger-rail service in Massachusetts, and help develop electric locomotive technology and a track safety system.

The Federal Railroad Administration provided the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDot) with $2.7 million in planning grants to study improvements in freight- and passenger-rail service. A $2 million grant, with a $1 million match from Pan Am Southern Railways, will be used to study the feasibility of adding double-stack trains on the Patriot freight corridor from Pownal, Vt., to Ayer, Mass., to increase the line’s capacity.

MassDOT also received a $694,000 grant to study upgrades and improvements needed for a new inland corridor that would accommodate higher-speed passenger-rail service between Boston, Worcester and Springfield, Mass., and Hartford and New Haven, Conn. The study will be integrated with an effort led by Vermont state officials to study intercity passenger-rail service between Boston and Montreal via the Inland Route.

Meanwhile, the USDOT also awarded a $400,000 grant to Norfolk Southern Railway to help develop an energy-saving battery-operated electric locomotive that could be charged from a charging station. The locomotive could be used as a stand-alone for yard switching operations or combined with conventional diesel-electric locomotives to create a “hybrid train,” USDOT officials said in a prepared statement.

In addition, the department awarded a $400,000 grant to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to develop an improved system designed to assess and evaluate track conditions and safety. The system would be used to provide improved engineering assessments of track, ballast, and other materials or conditions that could lead to a derailment.



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