Freight company is working on the railroad tracks


Freight hauler CSX will be work­ing on a line that runs through North­east Philly in­to Bucks County, lower­ing track so that cars double-stacked with cargo con­tain­ers can pass safely un­der loc­al streets in­clud­ing Red Li­on, By­berry and Southamp­ton roads.

Double-stack­ing con­tain­ers in­creases the clear­ance the rail cars need, which ne­ces­sit­ates lower­ing the rail bed, said Robert Sul­li­van, a CSX spokes­man. This will be ac­com­plished by re­mov­ing the soil un­der­neath the tracks and then restor­ing the track bed, he said, adding that all of the work, which in­volves re­mov­ing some trees, will be done on CSX prop­erty.

The $32 mil­lion pro­ject, which began in 2009, in­volves 25 miles of line in Philly and Bucks County and is ex­pec­ted to be com­pleted by 2013, Sul­li­van said. It will con­nect the Phil­adelphia mar­ket with New Jer­sey and New York, he said.

“This is an im­port­ant line, so trains will still op­er­ate while the pro­ject is un­der way,” Sul­li­van stated in an e-mail to the North­east Times.

In some spots, he ad­ded, ad­di­tion­al tracks will be con­struc­ted while the per­man­ent track is lowered.

Sul­li­van said lower­ing the track has big eco­nom­ic and en­vir­on­ment­al ad­vant­ages. Double-stack­ing con­tain­ers, he said, en­ables trains to double their car­gos.

“A fully loaded double-stack in­ter­mod­al train can carry the equi­val­ent of two-hun­dred, eighty trucks,”  Sul­li­van said. “In ad­di­tion, a freight train can carry one ton of freight nearly five-hun­dred miles on one gal­lon of fuel.”

Cur­rently, double-stacked cars go around the city on their way to New Jer­sey and New York. Lower­ing the rail bed on the line that goes through the North­east will cut that trip by 37 miles, Sul­li­van said.

Oth­er parts of the rail sys­tem headed up to New Eng­land already can ac­com­mod­ate double-stacked cars, he ad­ded. ••           End­Frag­ment

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