Norfolk Southern Railway in just eight days began and finished $16.2 million in upgrades to a southwestern Pennsylvania track that normally would have taken three months.
The project in the Monongahela Valley coal region would have typically disrupted freight traffic, but a gang of more than 400 specialized workers finished the work during coal miners’ annual summer break July 3-10
When those mines are active, NS moves about 30 trains daily on its Mon Valley line and last year hauled 41.4 million tons of coal.
“The rail infrastructure improvements are critical to the region’s coal-mining industry and to meeting the electricity needs of households and businesses across the Northeast and Midwest,” NS said.
For years, the carrier has made some upgrades to that line during the miners’ summer break. This time, though, it drew workers and equipment from its 22-state network to tackle the whole section at once, using four work trains and 95 pieces of large machinery.
They laid 29 miles of new track, resurfaced 69 miles’ worth, replaced three bridge decks and improved track signaling.
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