Thursday, September 05, 2013

TIGER grant to aid Vermont freight, Amtrak

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An $8.9 million federal Transportation Investment Generating Economy Recovery (TIGER) grant awarded to the Vermont Agency of Transportation will expedite the Green Mountain State's $18.5 million effort to rehabilitate 20 miles of rail right-of-way along the state's western edge.

The project covers right-of-way between Rutland and Leicester, includes replacing nine miles of rail, improving 11 at-grade farm crossings, and other items designed to eliminate slow orders and increase spees up to FRA Class 3 standards (40 mph).

Vermont Rail System short line Vermont Railway operates over the line, as does Amtrak's Ethan Allen, funded in part by Vermont. Plans call for extending Ethan Allen sevice from Rutland, its current Vermont terminus, north roughly 65 miles to Burlington, the state's largest city.

Vermont Railway was Railway Age's 2012 Short Line of the Year.

"These TIGER projects are the best argument you can make for investment in our transportation infrastructure," said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in a statement. "Together, they answer President Obama's call for a stronger transportation system for future generations by repairing existing roads and bridges, connecting people to new jobs and opportunities, and contributing to our nation's economic growth."