Thursday, September 17, 2009

CSX gets local backing for D.C.-area rail improvements

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The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments'Transportation Policy Board, a regional transportation board, Wednesdayapproved plans to help fund CSX efforts to expand and improve freight capacityin the district, Maryland, and Virginia. The Board approved a letter supportingfederal grant applications to help cover the estimated $160 million cost.

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Concern remains within the board that CSX has not supportedimprovements to passenger rail needs within the board’s territory, promptingthe board to add language in its letter seeking commitments from the Class Icarrier. CSX track is used by Amtrak, Virginia Rail Express, and Maryland MARCtrains.

CSX has stated that the 13 planned improvement projects inthe area would benefit freight and passenger operations. Many of the projectsraise clearances for double-stack trains, potentially relieving currentbottlenecks and resultant congestion for both freight and passenger moves, CSXhas said.