Monday, November 12, 2012

Nebraska short line opens new rail bridge

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Nebraska Central Railroad has announced the opening of a new rail bridge serving Norfolk, Neb., which will increase the short line's capacity to move next-generation railcars of 286,000 pounds per car.

The new steel beam span bridge, located in the short line's headquarters city, is 209 feet in length and is constructed with six separate spans using all steel pilings and steel piers, the short line said. It replaces an historic thru-truss style 98-foot rail bridge built in 1889.

"We are pleased to report, that demand for rail service has expanded steadily as local businesses have grown," said Nebraska Central Railroad President Richard Bertel. "Based upon customer projections, we decided the time was right to upgrade. And once we decided, the project was completed in record time, with virtually no interruption of service."

"We initiated the project on Sept. 11 of this year and completed it Oct. 11," Bertel said. "Our feeling is that the new capacity for freight will have a very positive effect on the Norfolk economy. It also underscores our long term commitment to our Norfolk customers, and the important infrastructure required to support that commitment."

Oklahoma City-based K & R Construction was the general contractor, assisted by K. Porter Construction Co. of Norfolk, Neb., which handled excavation and embankment work. Nebraska Central Railroad personnel handled the design and rail transfer and alignment, as well as work on the bridge deck.

Nebraska Central Railroad is a subsidiary corporation of Rio Grande Pacific Corp., based in Fort Worth, Tex.