The city of Auburn’s four railroad crossings got an overhaul this past month as RJ Corman smoothed out their bumpy ride.
Railroad crossings on College, Pearl, Lincoln and Caldwell Streets are much smoother now that Corman took up the track and ties and refurbished the surface over them.
“It so nice now when crossing them,” said Auburn City Clerk Becka LaGrone. “Before, it was a very bumpy ride.”
The refurbishment was part of the TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery ) project which addressed the rehabilitation of five shortline railroads operated by RJ Corman Railroad Company in the three states of Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia. Initial approved funding for the project was $21,938,976, of which RJ Corman Railroad Company contributed $4,187,757.
Funding for the Kentucky portion was $16,205,554. The TIGER grant portion was $12,964,443. The Commonwealth of Kentucky contributed $200,000. RJC contributed $3,041,111.
“RJ Corman Railroad Company was the only shortline to receive TIGER grant funding in the first offering. Our company remains grateful to Governor Beshear for his leadership in sponsoring our application to the US Department of Transportation for TIGER funding. This freight rail improvement project will continue to contribute to increasing economic growth and employment,” said Noel Rush VP Finance and Administration for R.J. Corman Railroad Group, LLC.
The shortline in Logan County is called the Memphis Line. On the Kentucky portion of that line, RJ Corman installed 30,000 ties, distributed 10,500 tons of ballast, surfaced 21 miles of track, rehabilitated 773 feet of road crossings (23 crossings), installed 284 switch ties and rehabilitated nine bridges. The project in Logan County began with tie installation in January 2012 and completion is expected within the next 30 days.
The Memphis Line is 83 miles long. From Corman’s CSX interchange with CSX in Bowling Green, the shortline runs through Logan and Todd counties in Kentucky and through Montgomery and Warren counties in Tennessee. It terminates in Cumberland City, Tenn.
The crossing work involves removing all existing asphalt and crossing components. Corman replace all railroad ties and rail and then proceeded with rebuilding the track structure so that it is compatible with both rail and vehicular traffic. This is what makes that ride over the tracks very smooth.
“RJ Corman Railroad Company was the only shortline to receive TIGER grant funding in the first offering. Our company remains grateful to Governor Beshear for his leadership in sponsoring our application to the US Department of Transportation for TIGER funding. This freight rail improvement project will continue to contribute to increasing economic growth and employment,” said Rush.
“Our track rehabilitation work has our Memphis Line with a high quality infrastructure that enables even more reliable freight rail service, which in turn, makes each of the counties we operate in more competitive as they attract expanded and new industries. We are prepared to assist in every effort to develop business that benefits from improved freight rail service. From the beginning, our company has worked in Logan County with the intent of being as least disruptive to the public as we could be. We are really grateful to the public for their understanding and patience as we replaced road crossings,” added Rush.